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Shortly after the death of Michael Faraday, Professor 
Auguste de la Rive, and others of his friends, gave to the 
world their impressions of his life, his character, and his 
work; Professor Tyndall drew his portrait as a man of 
science ; and after a while Dr. Bence Jones published his 
biography in two octavo volumes, with copious extracts 
from his journals and correspondence. In a review of this 
"Life and Letters" I happened to mention my thought 
of giving to the public some day my own reminiscences 
of the great philosopher ; several friends urged me to do 
so, not in the pages of a magazine, but in the form of a 
little book designed for those of his fellow-countrymen 
who venerate his noble character without being able to 
follow his scientific researches. I accepted the task. 
Professor Tyndall and Dr. Bence Jones, with Messrs. 
Longman, the publishers, kindly permitted me to make 
free use of their materials ; but I am indebted to the 



I. — The Story of his Life i 

II. — Study of his Character 60 

III.— Fruits of his Experience. . . ' 94 

. IV. — His Method of Working . • . 123 

V. — The Value of his Discoveries 146 

Supplementary Portraits 167 

Appendix :— List of Honorary Fellowships, etc. . . . 173 

Index 176 




At the beginning of this century, in the neighbourhood 
of Manchester Square, London, there was an inquisitive 
boy running about, playing at marbles, and minding his 
baby-sister. He lived in Jacob's Well Mews, close by, 
and was learning the three R's at a common day-school. 
Few passers-by would have noticed him, and none certainly 
would have imagined that this boy, as he grew up, was to 
achieve the truest success in life, and to die honoured by 
the great, the wise, and the good. Yet so it was ; and to 
tell the story of his life, to trace the sources of this success, 
and to depict some of the noble results of his work, are the 
objects of this biographical sketch. 

It was not at Jacob's Well Mews, but in Newington Butts, 
that the boy had been born, on September 22, 1791, and his \ 
parents, James and Margaret Faraday, had given this, their a 7 
third child, the unusual name of Michael The father was \fiw^^ ' 
a journeyman blacksmith, a skilful workman who, in spite of 

i q b 




poverty and feeble health, strove to bring up his children in 
habits of industry and the love of God. 

Of course young Michael must soon do something for his 
living. There happened to be a bookseller's shop in Bland- 
ford Street, a few doors from the entrance to the Mews, 
kept by a Mr. Riebau, an intelligent man, who is said to 
have had a leaning to astrology ; and -there he went as errand 
boy when thirteen years old. Many a weary walk he had, 
carrying round newspapers to his master's customers ; but 
he did his work faithfully ; and so, after a twelvemonth, the 
bookseller was willing to take him as an apprentice, and 
that without a premium. 

Now, a boy in a bookseller's shop can look at the inside 
as well as the outside of the books he handles, and young 
Faraday took advantage of his position, and fed on such 
intellectual food as Watts's " Improvement of the Mind," 
Mrs. Marcet's " Conversations on Chemistry," and the article 
on " Electricity " in the Encyclopedia Britannica, besides such 
lighter dishes as Miss Burney's " Evelina;" nor can we doubt 
that when he was binding Lyons' "Experiments on Elec- 
tricity," and Boyle's "Notes about the Producibleness ot 
Chymicall Principles," he looked beyond the covers. 1 And 

1 These books, with others bound by Faraday, are preserved in a 
special cabinet at the Royal Institution, together with more valuable 
documents, — the laboratory notes of Davy and those of Faraday, his 
notes of Tatum's and Davy's lectures, copies of his published papers 
with annotations and indices, notes for lectures and Friday evening dis- 
courses, account books, and various memoranda, together with letters 
from Wollaston, Young, Herschel, Whewell, Mitscherlich, and many 
others of his fellow-workers in science. These were the gift of his 
widow, in accordance with his own desire. 



his thirst for knowledge did not stop with reading : he must * 
see whether Mrs. Marcet's statements were correct, and so, 
to quote his own words, " I made such simple experiments J 
in chemistry as could be defrayed in their expense by 
a few pence per week, and also constructed an electrical 
machine, first with a glass phial, and afterwards with a real 
cylinder, as well as other electrical apparatus of a cor- 
responding kind." 

He kept too a note-book called " The Philosophical Mis- 
cellany," intended, he tells us, "to promote both amuse- 
ment and instruction, and also to corroborate or invalidate 
those theories which are continually starting into the world 
of science ; " and miscellaneous indeed were the scraps he 
gathered from the magazines of the time. 

One day, early in 18 10, walking somewhere in the neigh- 
bourhood of Fleet Street, he saw in a shop- window a bill 
announcing that lectures on natural philosophy were de- 
livered by Mr. Tatum, at 53, Dorset Street, at eight in the 
evening, price of admission one shilling. He wanted to 
hear these lectures. His master's permission was obtained, 
but where was the money to come from ? The needful 
shillings were given him by his elder brother, Robert, who 
earned them as a blacksmith; and so Michael Faraday 
made his first acquaintance with scientific lectures. And not 
with lectures only, for Tatum's house was frequented by 
other earnest students, and lifelong friendships were formed. 
Among these students was Benjamin Abbott, a young Quaker, 
who had received a good education, and had then a situation 
in a City house as confidential clerk. With him Faraday 
chatted on philosophy or anything else, and happily for us 

B 2 





he chatted on paper, in letters of that fulness and length 
which the penny post and the telegraph have well-nigh driven 
out of existence ; and happily for us, too, Abbott kept those 
letters, and Dr. Bence Jones has published them. They are 
wonderful letters for a poor bookseller's apprentice; they 
bear the stamp of an innate gentleman and philosopher. 
(\ Long afterwards, when Benjamin Abbott was an old man, 

he used to tell how Faraday made his first experiments in 
the kitchen of his house, and delivered his first lecture from 
the end of that kitchen table. The electrical machine made 
by him in those early days came into the possession of Sir 
James South, and now forms one of the treasures of the 
Royal Institution. 

As the eager student drank in the lectures of Tatum, he 
took notes, and he afterwards wrote them out carefully in a 
clear hand, numbering and describing the different experi- 
ments that he saw performed, and making wonderfully neat 
drawings of the apparatus, in good perspective. These 
notes he bound in four volumes, adding to each a copious 
index, and prefixing to the first this dedication to his 
master : — 

"To Mr. G. Riebau. 

" Sir, 

" When first I evinced a predilection for the sciences, 
but more particularly for that one denominated electricity, 
you kindly interested yourself in the progress I made in the 
knowledge of facts relating to the different theories in exist- 
ence* readily permitting me to examine those books in your 
possession that were in any way related to the subjects then 


occupying my attention. To you, therefore, is to be attri- 
buted the rise and existence of that small portion of know- 
ledge relating to the science which I possess, and accord- 
ingly to you are due my acknowledgments. 

" Unused to the arts of flattery, I can only express my 
obligations in a plain but sincere way. Permit me, there- 
fore, Sir, to return thanks in this manner for the many 
favours I have received at your hands and by your means* 
and believe me, 

"Your grateful and obedient Servant, 

" M. Faraday." 

Now there happened to be lodging at Mr. Riebau's a 
notable foreigner of the name of Masquerier. He was a 
distinguished artist, who had painted Napoleon's portrait, 
and had passed through the stirring events of the first 
French Revolution, not without serious personal danger, 
and was now finding a refuge and a home in London. He 
was struck with the intelligence of the apprentice, whose 
duty it was to do various offices for him ; and he lent the 
young man his books, and taught him how to make the 
drawings in perspective which have already been alluded to. 

But the lectures in Dorset Street were not the only ones 
that Michael Faraday attended ; and as the Royal Institu- 
tion is the central scene of all his subsequent history, we 
must pay a mental visit to that building. Turning from the 
busy stream of Piccadilly into the quiet of Albemarle 
Street, we see, in a line with the other houses, a large 
Grecian facade with fourteen lofty pilasters. Between these 
are folding doors, which are pushed open from time to time 


by grave-looking gentlemen, many of them white-headed ; 
but often of an afternoon, and always on Friday evening 
during the season, the quiet street is thronged with carriages 
and pedestrians, ladies and gentlemen, who flock through 
these folding doors. Entering with them, we find ourselves 
in a vestibule, with a large stone staircase in front, and rooms 
opening on the right and left The walls of these rooms 
are lined with myriads of books, and the tables are covered 
with scientific and other periodicals of the day, and there 
are cabinets of philosophical apparatus and a small museum. 
Going up the broad staircase and turning to the right, we 
pass through an ante-room to the lecture theatre. There 
stands the large table, horseshoe-shaped, with the necessary 
appliances for experiments, and behind it a furnace and 
arrangements for black-board and diagrams ; while round 
the table as a centre range semicircular seats, rising tier 
above tier, and surmounted by a semicircular gallery, the 
whole capable of seating 700 persons. On the basement 
is a new chemical laboratory, fitted up with modern appli- 
ances, and beyond it the old laboratory, with its furnaces 
and sand-bath, its working tables and well-stored shelves, 
flanked by cellars that look like dark lumber-rooms. A 
narrow private staircase leads up to the suite of apartments 
in which resides the Director of the house. Such is the 
Royal Institution of Great Britain, incorporated by Royal 
Charter in the year 1800, "for the diffusing knowledge and 
facilitating the general introduction of useful mechanical in- 
ventions and improvements, and for teaching, by courses of 
philosophical lectures and experiments, the application of 
science to the common purposes of life ; " — with the motto, 


" Illustrans commoda vitae." Fifty or sixty years ago the 
building was essentially what it is now, except the facade 
and entrance, and that the laboratory, which was considered 
a model of perfection, was even darker than at present, and 
in the place of the modern chemical room there was a 
small theatre. The side room, too, was fitted up for actual 
work, though even at mid-day it had to be artificially 
lighted ; and beyond this there was, and still is, a place 
called the Froggery, from a certain old tradition of frogs 
having been kept there. The first intention of the founders 
to exhibit useful inventions had not been found very prac- 
ticable, but the place was already famous with the memories 
of Rumford and Young ; and at that time the genius of Sir 
Humphry Davy was entrancing the intellectual world with 
brilliant discoveries, and drawing fashionable audiences to 
Albemarle Street to listen to his eloquent expositions. 

Among the customers of the bookseller in Blandford 
Street was a Mr. Dance, who, being a member of the Royal 
Institution, took young Faraday to hear the last four public 
lectures of Davy. The eager student sat in the gallery, just 
over the clock, and took copious notes of the Professor's 
explanations of radiant matter, chlorine, simple inflam- 
mables, and metals, while he watched the experiments that 
were performed. Afterwards* he wrote the lectures fairly out 
in a quarto volume, that is still preserved — first the theo- 
retical portions, then the experiments with drawings, and 
finally an index. " The desire to be engaged in scientific 
occupation, even though of the lowest kind, induced me," 
he says, " whilst an apprentice, to write, in my ignorance of 
the world and simplicity of my mind, to Sir Joseph Banks, 

8 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

then President of the Royal Society. Naturally enough, 
' No answer ' was the reply left with the porter." 

On the 7th of October his apprenticeship expired, and on 
the next day he became a journeyman bookbinder under a 
disagreeable master — who, like his friend the artist, was a 
French emigrt. No wonder he sighed still more for con- 
genial occupation. 

Towards the end of that same October Sir Humphry 
Davy was working on a new liquid which was violently ex- 
plosive, now known as chloride of nitrogen, — and he met 
with an accident that seriously injured his eye, and produced 
an attack of inflammation. Of course, for a while he could 
not write, and, possibly through the introduction of M. 
Masquerier, 1 the young bookseller was employed as his 
amanuensis. This, however, Faraday himself tells us lasted 
only " some days ; n and in writing years afterwards to Dr. 
Paris, he says, " My desire to escape from trade, which I 
thought vicious and selfish, and to enter into the service of 
Science, which I imagined made its pursuers amiable and 
liberal, induced me at last to take the bold and simple 
step of writing to Sir H. Davy, expressing my wishes, and 
a hope that, if an opportunity came in his way, he would 
favour my views ; at the same time I sent the notes I had 
taken of his lectures." Davy, it seems, called with the 
letter on one of his friends — at that time honorary inspector 
of the models and apparatus — and said, " Pepys, what am I 
to do? Here is a letter from a young man named Faraday; 
he has been attending my lectures, and wants me to give 

1 This idea was suggested by some remarks of Faraday to the Baroness 
Burdett Coutts. 


him employment at the Royal Institution — what can I do t" 
"Do?" replied Pepys ; " put him to wash bottles : if he is 
good for anything, he will do it directly ; if he refuses, he is 
good for nothing." " No, no," replied Davy, " we must try 
him with something better than that" 

So Davy wrote a kind reply, and had an interview with the 
young man upon the Subject ; in which, however, he advised 
him to stick to his business, telling him that " Science was a 
harsh mistress, and, in a pecuniary point of view, but poorly 
rewarding those who devoted themselves to her service." 
He promised him the work of the Institution, and his own 

But shortly afterwards the laboratory assistant was dis- 
charged for misconduct, and so it happened that one night 
the inhabitants of quiet Weymouth Street were startled by 
the unusual apparition of a grand carriage with a footman, 
which drew up before the house where Faraday lived, when 
the servant left a note from Sir Humphry Davy. The next 
morning there was an interview, which resulted in the young 
aspirant for scientific work being engaged to help the famous 
philosopher. His engagement dates from March i, 1813, and 
he was to get 25J. per week, and a room in the house. The 
duties had been previously laid down by the managers : — 
"To attend and assist the lecturers and professors in preparing 
for, and during lectures. Where any instruments or apparatus 
may be required, to attend to their careful removal from the 
model room and laboratory to the lecture-room, and to clean 
and replace them after being used, reporting to the' managers 
such accidents as shall require repair, a constant diary 
being kept by him for that purpose. That in one day in 

io MICHAEL FARAD A K [sect. 

each week he be employed m keeping clean the models in 
the repository, and that all the instruments in the glass cases 
be cleaned and dusted at least once within a month." 

The young assistant did not confine himself to the mere 
discharge of these somewhat menial duties. He put in 
order the mineralogical collection; and from the first we 
find him occupying a higher position than the minute quoted 
above would indicate. 

In the course of a few days he was extracting sugar from 
beet-root; but all his laboratory proceedings were not so 
pleasant or so innocent as that, for he had to make one 
of the worst smelling of all chemical compounds, bisulphide 
of carbon ; and as Davy continued to work on the explosive 
chloride of nitrogen, his assistant's career stood some chance 
of being suddenly cut short at its commencement. Indeed, 
it seems that before the middle of April he had run the 
gauntlet of four separate explosions. Knowing that the 
liquid would go off on the slightest provocation, the experi- 
menters wore masks of glass, but this did not save them 
from injury. In one case Faraday was holding a small tube 
containing a few grains of it between his finger and thumb, 
and brought a piece of warm cement near it, when he was 
suddenly stunned, and on returning to consciousness found 
himself standing with his hand in the same position, but 
torn by the shattered tube, and the glass of his mask even 
cut by the projected fragments. Nor was it easy to say 
when the compound could be relied on, for it seemed very 
capricious; for instance, one day it rose quietly in vapour in 
a tube exhausted by the air-pump, but the next day, when 
subjected to the same treatment, it exploded with a fearful 


noise, and Sir Humphry was cut about the chin, and was 
struck with violence on the forehead. This seems to have 
put an end to the experiments. 

Nevertheless, in spite of disagreeables and dangers, the 
embryo philosopher worked on with a joyful heart, beguiling 
himself occasionally with a song, and in the evening playing 
tunes on his flute. 

The change in Michael Faraday's employment naturally 
made him more earnest still in the pursuit of knowledge. 
He was admitted as a member of the " City Philosophical 
Society, " a fraternity of thirty or forty men in the middle 
or lower ranks of life, who met every Wednesday evening 
for mutual instruction ; and here is a contemporary picture 
of him at one of its debates : — 

" But hark ! A voice arises near the chair ! 
Its liquid sounds glide smoothly through the air ; 
The listening muse with rapture bends to view 
The place of speaking, and tjie speaker too. 
Neat was the youth in dress, in person plain ; 
His eye read thus, Philosopher in grain ; 
Of understanding clear, reflection deep ; 
Expert to apprehend, and strong to keep. 
His watchful mind no subject can elude, 
Nor specious arts of sophists e r er delude ; 
His powers, unshackled, range from pole to pole ; 
His mind from error free, from guilt his soul. 
Warmth in his heart, good humour in his face, 
A friend to mirth, but foe to vile grimace ; 
A temper candid, manners unassuming, 
Always correct, yet always unpresuming. 
Such was the youth, the chief of all the band ; 
His name well known, Sir Humphry's right hand. 
With manly ease towards the chair he bends, 
With Watts's Logic at his finger-ends. " 


12 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

Another way in which he strove to educate himself is 
thus described in his own words : — " During this spring 
Magrath and I established the mutual improvement plan, 
and met at my rooms up in the attics of the Royal Insti- 
tution, or at Wood Street at his warehouse. It consisted, 
perhaps, of half-a-dozen persons, chiefly from the City 
Philosophical Society, who met of an evening to read 
together, and to criticise, correct, and improve each other's 
pronunciation and construction of language. The dis- 
cipline was very sturdy, the remarks very plain and open, 
and the results most valuable. This continued for several 

Seven months after his appointment there began a new 
passage in Faraday's life, which gave a fresh impulse to his 
mental activity, and largely extended his knowledge of men 
and things. Sir Humphry Davy, wishing, to travel on the 
Continent, and having received a special pass from the 
Emperor Napoleon, offered to take him as his amanuensis : 
he accepted the proposal, and for a year and a half they 
wandered about France, Italy, and Switzerland, and then 
they returned rapidly by the Tyrol, Germany, and Holland. 

From letters written when abroad we can catch some ot 
the impressions made on his mind by these novel scenes. 
" I have not forgot," he writes to Abbott, " and never shall 
forget, the ideas that were forced on my mind in the first 
days. To me, who had lived all my days of remembrance 
in London, a city surrounded by a flat green country, a hill 
was a mountain, and a stone a rock ; for though I had ab- 
stract ideas of the things, and could say rock and mountain, 
and would talk of them, yet I had no perfect ideas. Con- 


ceive then the astonishment, the pleasure, and the informa- 
tion which entered my mind in the varied county of Devon- 
shire, where the foundations of the earth were first exposed 
to my view, and where I first saw granite, limestone, &c, in 
those places and in those forms where the ever-working and 
all-wonderful hand of nature had placed them. Mr. Ben., 
it is impossible you can conceive my feelings, and it is as 
impossible for me to describe them. The sea then pre- 
sented a new source of information and interest; and on 
approaching the shores of France, with what eagerness, and 
how often, were my eyes directed to the South ! When 
arrived there, I thought myself in an uncivilized country ; for 
never before nor since have I seen such wretched beings as 
at Morlaix." His impression . of the people was not im- 
proved by the fact of their having arrested the travellers 
on landing, and having detained them for five days until 
they had sent to Paris for verification of their papers. 

Again, to her towards whom his heart was wont to turn 
from distant lands with no small longing: "I have said 
nothing as yet to you, dear mother, about our past journey, 
which has been as pleasant and agreeable (a few things 
excepted, in reality nothing) as it was possible to be. Sir 
H. Davy's high name at Paris gave us free admission into 
all parts of the French dominions, and our passports were 
granted with the utmost readiness. We first went to Paris, 
and stopped there two months; afterwards we passed, in 
a southerly direction, through France to Montpellier, on the 
borders of the Mediterranean. From thence we went to 
Nice, stopping a day or two at Aix on our way ; and from 
Nice we crossed the Alps to Turin, in Piedmont. From 

14 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

Turin we proceeded to Genoa, which place we left after- 
wards in an open boat, and proceeded by sea towards Lerici. 
This place we reached after a very disagreeable passage, 
and not without apprehensions of being overset by the way. 
As there was nothing there very enticing, we continued our 
route " to Florence ; and, after a stay of three weeks or a 
month, left that fine city, and in four days arrived here at 
Rome. Being now in the midst of things curious and inter- 
esting, something arises every day which calls for attention 
and observations. The relics of ancient Roman magni- 
ficence, the grandeur of the churches, and their richness 
also — the difference of habits and customs, each in turn 
engages the mind, and keeps it continually employed. 
Florence, too, was not destitute of its attractions for me, 
and in the Academy del Cimento and the museum attached 
to it is contained an inexhaustible fund of entertainment 
and improvement; indeed, during the whole journey, new 
and instructive things have been continually presented to 
me. Tell B. I have crossed the Alps and the Apennines ; 
I have been at the Jardin des Plantes; at the museum 
arranged by Buffon ; at the Louvre, among the chefs (Tauvre 
of sculpture and the masterpieces of painting; at the 
Luxembourg Palace, amongst Rubens' works ; that I have 
seen a Glowworm ! ! ! waterspouts, torpedo, the museum at 
the Academy del Cimento, as well as St Peter's, and some 
of the antiquities here,, and a vast variety of things far too 
numerous to enumerate. ,, 

But he kept a lengthy journal, and as we turn over the 
pages — for the best part of it is printed by Bence Jones — we 
meet vivid sketches of the provokingly slow custom-house 


officers, the postilion in jack-boots, and the thin pigs of 
Morlaix — pictures of Paris, too, when every Frenchman was 
to him an unintelligible enemy; when the Apollo Belvidere, 
the Venus de Medici, and the Dying Gladiator were at the 
Louvre, and when the First Napoleon visited the Senate in 
full state. " He was sitting in one corner of his carriage, 
covered and almost hidden from sight by an enormous robe 
of ermine, and his face overshadowed by a tremendous 
plume of feathers that descended from a velvet hat." We 
watch Sir Humphry as Ampere and others bring to him the 
first specimens of iodine, and he makes experiments with 
his travelling apparatus on the dark lustrous crystals and 
their violet vapour ; we seem, too, to be present with the 
great English chemist and his scholar as they burn diamonds 
at Florence by means of the Grand Duke's gigantic lens, 
and prove that the invisible result is carbonic acid; or as 
they study the springs, of inflammable gas at Pietra Mala, 
and the molten minerals of Vesuvius. The whole, too, is 
interspersed with bits of fun, and this culminates at the 
Roman Carnival, where he evidently thoroughly enjoyed the 
follies of the Corso, the pelting with sugar-plums, and the 
masked balls, to the last of which he went in a nightgown 
and nightcap, with a lady who knew all his acquaintances ; 
and between the two they puzzled their friends mightily. 

This year and a half may be considered as the time ot 
Faraday's education ; it was the period of his life that best 
corresponds with the collegiate course of other men who 
have attained high distinction in the world of thought. But 
his University was Europe ; his professors the master whom 
he served, and those illustrious men to whom the renown of 

1 6 MICHAEL FAR AD A K [sect. 

Davy introduced the travellers. It made him personally 
known, also, to foreign savants, at a time when there was 
little intercourse between Great Britain and the Continent ; 
and thus he was associated with the French Academy ot 
Sciences while still young, his works found a welcome all 
over Europe, and some of the best representatives of foreign 
science became his most intimate friends. 

In May 1815, his engagement at the Royal Institution 
was renewed, with a somewhat higher position and increased 
salary, which was again raised in the following year to 100/. 
per annum. The handwriting in the Laboratory Note-book 
changes in September 181 5, from the large running letters 
of Brande to the small neat characters of Faraday, his first 
entry having reference to an analysis of " Dutch turf ash," 
and then soon occur investigations into the nature of sub- 
stances bearing what must have been to him the mysterious 
names of Paligenetic tincture, and Baphe eugenes chnison. 
It is to be hoped that the constituents of this golden dye 
agreed together better than the Greek words of its name. 

We can imagine the young philosopher taking a deeper 
interest in the researches on flame which his master was then 
carrying out, and in the gradual perfection of the safety-lamp 
that was to bid defiance to the explosive gases of the mine ; 
this at least is certain, that Davy, in the preface to his cele- 
brated paper on the subject, expresses himself " indebted to 
Mr. Michael Faraday for much able assistance," and that 
the youthful investigator carefully preserved the manuscript 
given him to copy. 

Part of his duty, in fact, was to copy such papers ; and 
as Sir Humphry had a habit of destroying them, he begged 

I. ] THE STOR Y OF ffIS LIFE. 1 7 

leave to keep the originals, and in that way collected two 
large volumes of precious manuscripts. 

But there came a change. Hitherto he had been absorb- 
ing ; now he was to emit. The knowledge which had been 
a source of delight to himself must now overflow as a bless- 
ing to others : and this in two ways. His first lecture was 
given at the City Philosophical Society on January 17, 18 16, 
and in the same year his first paper was published in the 
Quarterly Journal of Science. The lecture was on the general 
properties of matter; the paper was an analysis of some 
native caustic lime from Tuscany. Neither was important 
in itself, but each resembled those little streams which 
travellers are taken to look at because they are the sources 
of mighty rivers, for Faraday became the prince of experi- 
mental lecturers, and his long series of published researches 
have won for him the highest niche in the temple of science. 

When he began to investigate for himself, it could not 
have been easy to separate his own work from that which 
he was expected to do for his master. Hence no small 
danger of misunderstandings and jealousies ; and some of 
these ugly attendants on rising fame did actually throw their 
black shadows over the intercourse between the older and 
the younger man of genius. In these earlier years, how- 
ever, all appears to have been bright; and the following 
letter, written from Rome in October 18 18, will give a good 
idea of the assistant's miscellaneous duties, and of the 
pleasant feelings of Davy towards him. It may be added 
that in another letter he is requested to send some dozens 
of " flies with pale bodies " to Florence, for Sir Humphry 
loved fly-fishing as well as philosophy. 


18 MICHAEL FAR ADA K [sect. 

To Mr. Faraday. 

" I received the note you were so good as to address to 
me at Venice ; and by a letter from Mr. Hatchett I find 
that you have found the parallax of Mr. West's Sirius, and 
that, as I expected, he is mistaken. , 

" If when you write to me you will give the 3 per cents, 
and long annuities, it will be enough. 

" I will thank you to put the enclosed letters into the 
post, except those for Messrs. Morland and Messrs. Drum- 
mond, which perhaps you will be good enough to deliver. 

" Mr. Hatchett's letter contained praises of you which 
were very gratifying to me ; and pray believe me there is no 
one more interested in your success and welfare than your 
sincere well-wisher and friend, 

"H. Davy. 


It must not be supposed, however, that he had any astro- 
nomical duties, for the parallax he had found was not that 
of the Dog-star, but of a reputed new metal, Sirium, which 
was resolved in Faraday's hands into iron, nickel, and sul- 
phur. But the impostor was not to be put down so easily, 
for he turned up again under the alias of Vestium ; but 
again he was unable to escape the vigilant eye of the young 
detective, for one known substance after another was re- 
moved from it; and then, says Faraday, "my Vestium 
entirely disappeared." 

His occupations during this period were multifarious 
enough. We must picture him to ourselves as a young- 
looking man of about thirty years of age, well made, and neat 


in his dress, his cheerfulness of disposition often breaking 
out in a short crispy laugh, but thoughtful enough when 
something important is to be done. He has to prepare the 
apparatus for Brande's lectures, and when the hour has ar- 
rived he stands on the right of the Professor, and helps him 
to produce the strange transformations of the chemical art. 
And conjurers, indeed, the two appear in the eyes of the 
youth on the left, who waits upon them, then the "labora- 
tory assistant," now the well-known author, Mr. William 
Bollaert, from whom I have learnt many details of this period. 
When not engaged with the lectures, Faraday is manufac- 
turing rare chemicals, or performing commercial analyses, 
or giving scientific evidence on trials. One of these was a 
famous one, arising from the Imperial Insurance Company 
resisting the claim of Severn and King, sugar-bakers ; and 
in it appeared all the chemists of the day, like knights in 
the lists, on opposite sides, ready to break a lance with 
each other. 

All his spare time Faraday was occupied with original 
work. Chlorine had a fascination for him, though the yellow 
choking gas would get out into the room, and he investi- 
gated its combinations with carbon, squeezed it into a 
liquid, and applied it successfully as a disinfectant when 
fatal fever broke out in the Millbank Penitentiary. Iodine 
too, another of Davy's elements, was made to join itself to 
carbon and hydrogen ; and naphthaline was tormented with 
strong mineral acids. Long, too, he tried to harden steel 
and prevent its rusting, by alloying it with small quantities 
of platinum and the rarer metals ; the boy blew the bellows 
till the crucibles melted, but a few ordinary razors seem to 

c 2 

20 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

have been the best results. Far more successful was he in 
repeating and extending some experiments of Ampere on 
the mutual action of magnets and electric currents ; and 
when, after months of work and many ingenious contriv- 
ances, the wire began to move round the magnet, and the 
magnet round the wire, he himself danced about the revolv- 
ing metals, his face beaming with joy — a joy not unmixed 
with thankful pride — as he exclaimed, " There they go ! 
there they go ! we have succeeded at last." After this dis- 
covery he thought himself entitled to a treat, and proposed 
to his attendant a visit to the theatre. "Which shall it 
be ? " " Oh, let it be Astley's, to see the horses." So to 
Astley's they went; but at the pit entrance there was 
a crush; a big fellow pressed roughly upon the lad, and 
Faraday, who could stand no injustice, ordered him to 
behave himself, and showed fight in defence of his young 

The rising philosopher indulged, too, in other recreations. 
He had a wonderful velocipede, a progenitor of the modern 
bicycle, which often took him of an early morning to Hamp- 
stead Hill. There was also his flute ; and a small party for 
the practice of vocal music once a week at a friend's house. 
He sang bass correctly, both as to time and tune. 

And though the City Philosophical Society was no more, 
the ardent group of students of nature who used to meet 
there were not wholly dispersed. They seem to have car- 
ried on their system of mutual improvement, and to have 
read the current scientific journals at Mr. Nicol's house till 
he married, and then alternately at those of Mr. R. H. 
Solly, Mr. Ainger, and Mr. Hennel, of Apothecaries , Hall, 


who came to a tragical end through an explosion of fulmi- 
nating silver. Several of them, including Mr. Cornelius 
Varley, joined the Society of Arts, which at that time had 
committees of various sciences, and was very democratic in 
its management ; and, finding that by pulling together they 
had great influence, they constituted themselves a "caucus," 
adopting the American word, and meeting in private. 
Magrath was looked upon as a " chair-maker," and Faraday 
in subsequent years held the office of Chairman of the 
Committee of Chemistry, and occasionally he presided at 
the large meetings of the Society. 

During this time (1823) the Athenaeum Club was started, 
not in the present Grecian palace in Pall Mall, but in a pri- 
vate house in Waterloo Place. Its members were the aristo- 
cracy of science, literature, and art, and they made Faraday 
their honorary secretary ; but after a year he transferred the 
office to his friend Magrath, who held it for a long period. 

Among the various sects into which Christendom is 
divided, few are less known than the Sandemanians. About 
a century and a half ago, when there was little light in the 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland, a pious minister of the 
name of John Glas began to preach that the Church should 
be governed only by the teaching of Christ and His apostles, 
that its connection with the State was an error, and that we 
ought to believe and to practise no more and no less than 
what we find from the New Testament that the primitive 
Church believed and practised. These principles, which 
sound very familiar in these days, procured for their asserter 
much obloquy and a deposition by the Church Courts, in 
consequence of which several separate congregations were 

22 MICHAEL fiARADA Y. [sect. 

formed in different parts of Great Britain, especially by 
Robert Sandeman, the son-in-law of Mr. Glas, and from 
him they received their common appellation. In early 
days they taught a simpler view of faith than was generally 
held at that time; it was with them a simple assent of 
the understanding, but produced by the Spirit of God, 
and its virtue depended not on anything mystical in the 
operation itself, but on the grandeur and beauty of the 
things believed. Now, however, there is little to distin- 
guish them in doctrine from other adherents of the Puritan 
theology, though they certainly concede a greater deference 
to their elders, and attach more importance to the Lord's 
Supper than is usual among the Puritan Churches. Their 
form of worship, too, resembles that of the Presbyterians ; 
but they hold that each congregation should have a plurality 
of elders, pastors, or bishops, who are unpaid men ; that on 
every " first day of the week " they are bound to assemble, 
not only for prayers and preaching, but also for " breaking 
of bread," and putting together their weekly offerings ; that 
the love-feast and kiss of charity should continue to be 
practised ; that " blood and things strangled " are still for- 
bidden as food; and that a disciple of Christ should not 
charge interest on loans except in the case of purely busi- 
ness transactions, or lay up wealth for the unknown future, 
but rather consider all he possesses as at the service of his 
poorer brethren, and be ready to perform to them such 
offices of kindness as in the early Church were expressed by 
washing one another's feet. 

But what gives the remarkable character to the adherents 
of this sect is their perfect isolation from all Christian 


1 __ 

} fellowship outside their own community, and from all 

external religious influence. They have never made mis- 
sionary efforts to win men from the world, and have long 
ceased to draw to themselves members from other Churches ; 
so they have rarely the advantage of fresh blood, or fresh 
views of the meaning of Scripture. They commonly inter- 
marry, and are expected to "bear one another's burthens;" 
so the Church has acquired somewhat of the additional 

^ character of a large intertwined family and of a mutual 

f benefit society. This rigid separation from the world, 

extending now through three or four generations, has pro- 
duced a remarkable elevation of moral tone and refinement 
of manner ; and it is said that no one unacquainted with 

fc the inner circle can conceive of the brotherly affection that 

reigns there, or the extent to which hospitality and material 
help is given without any ostentation, and received without 
any loss of self-respect. The body is rendered still more 
seclusive by demanding, not merely unity of spirit among 
its members, but unanimity of opinion in every Church 
transaction. In order to secure this, any dissentient who 
persists in his opinion after repeated argument is rejected ; 
the same is also the consequence of neglect of Church 

[' duties, as well as of any grave moral offence : and in such 

a community excommunication is a serious social ban, and 
though a penitent may be received back once, he can never 
return a second time. 

It was in the midst of this little community that Faraday 
received his earliest religious impressions, and among them 
he found his ecclesiastical home till the day of his entrance 
into the Church above. 


Among the elders of the Sandemanian Church in London 
was Mr. Barnard, a silversmith, of Paternoster Row. The 
young philosopher became a visitor at his house, and though 
he had previously written, — 

_ • 

" What is't that comes in false deceitful guise, 
Making dull fools of those that 'fore were wise ? 

Tis Love." 

— he altered his opinion in the presence of the citizen's third 
daughter, Sarah, and wrote to her what was certainly not 
the letter of a fool : — 

" You know me as well or better than I do myself. You 
know my former prejudices and my present thoughts — you 
know my weaknesses, my vanity, my whole mind ; you have 
converted me from one erroneous way, let me hope you will 
attempt to correct what others are wrong. .... Again 
and again I attempt to say what I feel, but I cannot. 
Let me, however, claim not to be the selfish being that 
wishes to bend your affections for his own sake only. In 
whatever way I can best minister to your happiness, either 
by assiduity or by absence, it shall be done. Do not injure 
me by withdrawing your friendship, or punish me for aiming 
to be more than a friend by making me less ; and if you 
cannot grant me more, leave me what I possess, — but 
hear me." 

The lady hesitated, and went to Margate. There he 
followed her, and they proceeded together to Dover and 
Shakspeare's Cliff, and he returned to London full of hap- 
piness and hope. He loved her with all the ardour of his 
nature, and in due course, on June 12, 1821, they were 


married. The bridegroom desired that there should be no 
bustle or noise at the wedding, and that the day should not 
be specially distinguished; but he calls it himself "an event 
which more than any other contributed to his happiness and 
v healthful state of mind." As years rolled on the affection 

between husband and wife became only deeper and deeper ; 
his bearing towards her proved it, and his letters frequently 
testify to it Doubtless at any time between their marriage 
^ and his final illness he might have written to her as he did 

^ from Birmingham, at the time of the British Association : — 

" After all, there is no pleasure like the tranquil pleasures of 
home, and here — even here — the moment I leave the table, 
I wish I were with you in quiet. Oh ! what happiness is 
ours ! My runs into the world in this way only serve to 
make me esteem that happiness the more." 

He took his bride home to Albemarle Street, and there 
they spent their wedded life ; but until Mr. BarnarcKs death 
it was their custom to go every Saturday to the house of the 
worthy silversmith, and spend Sunday with him, returning 
home usually in the evening of that day. His own father 
died while he was at Riebau's, but his mother, a grand- 
looking woman, lived long afterwards, supported by her 
son, whom she occasionally visited at the Institution, and 
of whose growing reputation she was not a little proud. 

With a mind calmed and strengthened by this beautiful 
domestic life, he continued with greater and greater enthu- 
siasm to ask questions of Nature, and to interpret her re- 
plies to his fellow-men. Just before his marriage he had 
been appointed at the Royal Institution superintendent of 
the house and laboratory, and in February 1825, after a 

26 MICHAEL FARAD A K [sect. 

change in the management of the Institution, he was placed 
as director in a position of greater responsibility and in- 
fluence. One of his first acts in this capacity was to invite 
the members to a scientific evening in the laboratory ; this 
took place three or four times in 1825, and in the following 
years these gatherings were held every week from Feb. 3 
to June 9 ; and though the labour devolved very much 
upon Faraday, other philosophers sometimes brought for- 
ward discoveries or useful inventions. Thus commenced 
those Friday evening meetings which have done so much to 
popularize the high achievements of science. Faraday's 
note-books are still preserved, containing the minutes of the 
committee-meetings every Thursday afternoon, the Duke of 
Somerset chairman, and he secretary; also the record of the 
Friday evenings themselves, who lectured, and on what sub- 
ject, and what was exhibited in the library, till June 1840, 
when other arrangements were probably made. 

The year 1827 was otherwise fruitful in lectures: in the 
spring, a course of twelve on chemical manipulation at the 
London Institution ; after Easter, his first course at Albe- 
marle Street, six lectures on chemical philosophy (he had 
helped Professor Brande in 1824) j 1 and at Christmas, his 
desire to convey knowledge, and his love to children, found 
expression in a course of six lectures to the boys and 
girls home for their holidays. These were a great success ; 

1 Sir Roderick Murchison used to tell how he was attending Brande's 
lectures, when one day, the Professor being absent, his assistant took 
his place, and lectured with so much ease that he won the complete 
approval of the audience. This, he said, was Faraday's first lecture 
at the Royal Institution. 


indeed, he himself says they " were just what they ought to 
have been, both in matter and manner, — but it would not 
answer to give an extended course in the same spirit." He 
continued these juvenile lectures during nineteen years. 
The notes for courses of lectures were written in school 
copy-books, and sometimes he appends a general remark 
about the course, not always so favourable as the one given 
above. Thus he writes, " The eight lectures on the opera- 
tions of the laboratory, April 1828, were not to my mind." 
Of the course of twelve in the spring of 1827, he says he 
" found matter enough in the notes for at least seventeen." 

Up to 1833 Faraday was bringing the forces of nature in 
subjection to man on a salary of only 100/. per annum, 
with house, coals, and candles, as the funds of the Institu- 
tion would not at that time afford more; but among the 
sedate habitues of the place was a tall, jovial gentleman, who 
lounged to the lectures in his old-fashioned blue coat and 
brass buttons, grey smalls, and white stockings, who was a 
munificent friend in need. This was John Fuller, a member 
of Parliament. He founded a Professorship of Chemistry 
with an endowment that brings in nearly 100/. a year, and 
gave the first appointment to Faraday for life. When the 
Institution became richer, his income was increased ; and 
when, on account of the infirmities of age, he could no 
longer investigate, lecture, or keep accounts, the managers 
insisted on his still retaining in name his official connection 
with- the place, with his salary and his residence there. Nor 
indeed could they well have acted otherwise ; for though 
the Royal Institution afforded in the first instance a con- 
genial soil for the budding powers of Faraday, his growth 

28 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. (sect. 

soon became its strength ; and eventually the blooming of 
his genius, and the fruit it bore, were the ornament and 
glory of the Institution. 

It will be asked, Was this ioo/. or 200/. per annum the 
sole income of Faraday ? No ; in early days he did com- 
mercial analyses, and other professional work, which paid 
far better than pure science. In 1830 his gains from this 
source amounted to 1,000/., and in 1831 to considerably 
more ; they might easily have been increased, but at that 
time he made one of his most remarkable discoveries — the 
evolution of electricity from magnetism, 1 — and there seemed 
to lie open before him the solution of the problem how to 
make one force exhibit at will the phenomena of magnetism 
or of common or voltaic electricity. And then he had to 
face another problem — his own mental force might be turned 
either to the acquisition of a fortune, or to the following up 
of those great discoveries ; it would not do both : which 
should he relinquish ? The choice was deliberately made : 
Nature revealed to him more and more of her secrets, but 
his professional gains sank in 1832 to 155/. 9«r., and during 
no subsequent year did they amount even to that 

Still his work was not entirely confined to his favourite 
studies. In a letter to Lord Auckland, long afterwards, he 
says : — " I have given up, for the last ten years or more, all 
professional occupation, and voluntarily resigned a large 
income that I might pursue in some degree my own objects 
of research. But in doing this I have always, as a good 
subject, held myself ready to assist the Government if still 

1 The laboratory note-book shows that at this very time he was making 
. a long series of commercial analyses of saltpetre for Mr. Brand e. 



in my power, not for pay; for, except in one instance (and 
then only for the sake of the person joined with me), I 
refused to take it I have the honour and pleasure of 
applications, and that very recendy, from the Admiralty, 
the Ordnance, the Home Office, the Woods and Forests, 
and other departments, all of which I have replied to, and 
will reply to as long as strength is left me." He had 
declined the Professorship of Chemistry at the London 
University — now University College, — but in 1829 he ac- 
cepted a lectureship at the Royal Academy, Woolwich, 
and held it for about twenty years. In 1836 he became 
scientific adviser to the Trinity House, and his letter to the 
Deputy Master also shows his feelings in reference to such 
employment :— -" You have left the title and the sum in 
pencil. These 1 look at mainly as regards the character 
of the appointment ; you will believe me to be sincere in 
this, when you remember my indifference to your proposi- 
tion as a matter of interest, though not as a matter of kind- 
ness. In consequence of the goodwill and confidence of all 
around me, I can at any moment convert my time into 
money, but I do not require more of the latter than is suffi- 
cient for necessary purposes. The sum, therefore, of 200/. 
is quite enough in itself, but not if it is to be the indicator 
of the character of the appointment ; but I think you do 
not view it so, and that you and I understand each other in 
that respect ; and your letter confirms me in that opinion. 
The position which I presume you would wish me to hold 
is analogous to that of a standing counsel." For nearly 
thirty years Faraday continued to report on all scientific 
suggestions and inventions connected with lighthouses or 

30 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

buoys, not for personal gain or renown, but for the public 
good. His position was never above that of a " standing | 

counseL" In his own words : " I do not know the exact 
relation of the Board of Trade and the Trinity House to i 

each other; I am simply an adviser upon philosophical 
questions, and am put into action only when called upon." 

In regard to the lectureship at Woolwich, Mr. Abel, his 
successor, writes thus : — " Faraday appears to have enjoyed 
his weekly trips to Woolwich, which he continued for so J 

many years, as a source of relaxation. He was in the habit 
of going to Woolwich in the afternoon or evening pre- 
ceding his lecture at the Military Academy, then preparing 
at once for his experiments, and afterwards generally taking 
a country ramble. The lecture was delivered early the fol- 
lowing morning. No man was so respected, admired, and , 
beloved as a teacher at the Military Academy in former | 
days as Faraday. Many are the little incidents which have \ 
been communicated to me by his pupils illustrative of his 
charms as a lecturer, and of his kindly feelings for the 
youths to whom he endeavoured to impart a taste for, if not 
a knowledge of, science. But for some not ill-meant, though 
scarcely judicious, proposal to dictate modifications in his 
course of instruction, Faraday would probably have con- 
tinued for some years longer to lecture at Woolwich. In 
May 1852, soon after I had been appointed his successor, 
Faraday wrote to me requesting the return of some tubes 
of condensed gases which he left at the Academy. This 
letter ends thus : — ' I hope you feel yourself happy and 
comfortable in your arrangements at the Academy, and have 
cause to be pleased with the change. I was ever very kindly 



received there, and that portion of regret which one must 
ever feel in concluding along engagement would be in some 
degree lessened with me by hearing that you had reason to 
be satisfied with your duties and their acceptance. — Ever 
very truly yours, M. Faraday.'" 

For year after year the life of Faraday afforded no adven- 
ture and little variety, only an ever-growing skill in his 
favourite pursuit, higher and higher success, and ever- 
widening fame. But simple as were his mind and his 
habits, no one picture can present him as the complete man ; 
we must try to make sketches from various points of view, 
and leave it to the reader's imagination to combine them. 

Let us watch him on an ordinary day. After eight hours' 
sleep, he rises in time to breakfast at eight o'clock, goes 
round the Institution to see that all is in order, and descends 
into the laboratory, puts on a large white apron, the stains 
and holes in which tell of previous service, and is busy 
among his pieces of apparatus. The faithful Anderson, an 
old soldier, who always did exactly what he was told, and 
nothing more, 1 is waiting upon him ; and as thought flashes 

1 The following anecdote has been sent me on the authority of Mr. 
Benjamin Abbott : — " Sergeant Anderson was engaged to attend to the 
furnaces in Mr. Faraday's researches on optical glass in 1 828, and was 
chosen simply because of the habits of strict obedience his military 
training had given him. His duty was to keep the furnaces always at 
the same heat, and the water in the ashpit always at the same level. In 
the evening he was released, but one night Faraday forgot to tell 
Anderson he could go home, and early next morning he found his faith- 
ful servant still stoking the glowing furnace, as he had been doing 
all night long." A more probable and better authenticated version 
of this story is that after nightfall Anderson went upstairs to Faraday, 
who was already in bed, to inquire if he was to remain still on duty. 

32 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

after thought through his eager— perhaps impatient — brain, 
he twists his wires into new shapes, and re -arranges his 
magnets and batteries. Then some conclusion is arrived at 
which lights up his face with a gleam of satisfaction, but the 
next minute a doubt comes across that expressive brow — 
may the results not be due to something else yet imperfectly 
conceived? — and a new experiment must be devised to 
answer that In the meantime perhaps one of his little 
nieces has been left in his charge. She sits as quiet as a 
mouse with her needlework ; but now and then he gives 
her a nod, or a kind word, and throwing a little piece 
of potassium on to a basin of water for her amusement, 
he shows her the metal bursting into purple flame, 
floating about in fiery eddies, and the crack of the fused 
globule of potash at the end. Presently there is handed 
to him the card of some foreign savant, who makes his 
pilgrimage to the famous Institution and its presiding 
genius; he puts down his last result on a slate, comes 
upstairs, and, disregarding the interruption, chats with 
his visitor with all cordiality and openness. Then to work 
again till dinner-time, at half-past two. In the afternoon 
he retires to his study with its plain furniture and the 
india-rubber tree in the window, and writes a letter full of ^ 

affection to some friend, after which he goes off to the 
council meeting of one of the learned bodies. Then back 
agairi to the laboratory, but as evening approaches he goes I 

upstairs to his wife and niece, and then there is a game at i 

bagatelle or acting charades ; and afterwards he will read 
aloud from Shakspeare or Macaulay till it is time for supper 
and the simple family worship which now is not liable to the 



interruptions that generally prevent it in the morning. And 
so the day closes. 

Or if it be a fine summer evening, he takes a stroll with 
his wife and the little girl to the Zoological Gardens, and 
looks at all the new arrivals, but especially the monkeys, 
laughing at their tricks till the tears run down his cheeks. 

But should it be a Friday evening, Faraday's place is in 
the library and theatre of the Institution, to see that all is 
right and ready, to say an encouraging word to the lecturer, 
and to welcome his friends as they arrive ; then taking his 
seat on the front bench near the right hand of the speaker, 
he listens with an animated countenance to his story, 1 some- 
times bending forwards, and scarcely capable of keeping 
his fingers off the apparatus — not at all able if anything 
seems to be going wrong ; when the discourse is over, a 
warm shake of the hand, with " Thank you for a pleasant 
hour/* and " Good night " to those around him, and upstairs 
with his wife and some particularly congenial friends to 
supper. On the dining-table is abundance of good fare and 
good wine, and around it flows a pleasant stream of lively 
and intellectual conversation. 

But suppose it is his own night to lecture. The sub- 
ject has been carefully considered, an outline of his dis- 
course has been written on a sheet of foolscap, with all the 
experiments marked and numbered, and during the morn- 
ing everything has been arranged on the table in such 

1 One evening, when the Rev. A. J. D'Orsey was lecturing '* On the 
Study of the English Language," he mentioned as a common vulgarism 
that of using " don't " in the third person singular, as " He don't pay 
his debts." Faraday exclaimed aloud, " That's very wrong." 


34 MICHAEL FARADA V. [sect. 

order that his memory is assisted by it ; the audience now 
pours in, and soon occupies all the seats, so that late 
comers must be content with sitting on the stairs or stand- 
ing in the gangways, or at the back of the gallery. Faraday 
enters, and placing himself in the centre of the horse-shoe 
table, perfect master of himself, his apparatus, and his 
audience, commences a discourse which few that are present 
will ever forget Here is a picture by Lady Pollock : — " It 
was an irresistible eloquence, which compelled attention 
and insisted upon sympathy. It waked the young from their 
visions, and the old from their dreams. There was a gleaming 
in his eyes which no painter could copy, and which no poet 
could describe. Their radiance seemed to send a strange 
light into the very heart of his congregation ; and when 
he spoke, it was felt that the stir of his voice and the 
fervour of his words could belong only to the owner of 
those kindling eyes. His thought was rapid, and made 
itself a way in new phrases — if it found none ready made — 
as the mountaineer cuts steps in the most hazardous ascent 
with his own axe. His enthusiasm sometimes carried him 
to the point of ecstasy when he expatiated on the beauties 
of Nature, and when he lifted the veil from her deep mys- 
teries. His body then took motion from his mind; his 
hair streamed out from his head ; his hands were full of 
nervous action ; his light, lithe body seemed to quiver with 
its eager life. His audience took fire with him, and every 
face was flushed. Whatever might be the after-thought or 
the after- pursuit, each hearer for the time shared his zeal 
and his delight." * 

1 The St. PauVs Magazine, June 1870. 


Is it possible that he can be happier when lecturing to 
the juveniles ? The front rows are filled with the young 
people ; behind them are ranged older friends and many 
of his brother philosophers, and there is old Sir James 
South, who is quite deaf, poor man, but has come, as he 
says, because he likes to see the happy faces of the children. 
How perfect is the attention! Faraday, with a beaming 
countenance, begins with something about a candle or a 
kettle that most boys and girls know, then rises to what 
they had never thought of before, but which now is as clear 
as possible to their understandings. And with what delight 
does he watch the performances of Nature in his experi- 
ments ! One could fancy that he had never seen the ex- 
periments before, and that he was about to clap his hands 
with boyish glee at the unexpected result ! Then with 
serious face the lecturer makes some incidental remark that 
goes far beyond natural philosophy, and is a lesson for life. 

Some will remember one of these occasions which forms 
the subject of a painting by Mr. Blaikley. Within the circle 
of the table stands the lecturer, and waiting behind is the 
trusty Anderson, while the chair is occupied by the Prince 
Consort, and beside him are the young Prince of Wales and 
his brother, the present Duke of Edinburgh ; while the Rev. 
John Barlow and Dr. Bence Jones sit on the left of the 
Princes; Sir James South stands against the door, and 
Murchison, De La Rue, Mrs. Faraday, and others may be 
recognized among the eager audience. 

Let us now suppose that it is a Sunday on which we 
are watching this prince among the aristocracy of intellect, 
and we will assume it to be during one of the periods of 

d 2 

3 6 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

his eldership, namely between 1840 and 1844, or after i860. 
The first period came to a close through his separation 
both from his office and from the Church itself. The 
reason of this is unknown except to the parties immediately 
concerned, but it will be readily understood how easily 
differences may arise in such a community as that of the 
Sandemanians between an original and conscientious mind 
and his brethren in the faith. He, however, continued to 
worship among his friends, and was after a while restored to 
the rights of membership, and eventually to the office of 
elder. In the morning he and his family group find their 
way down to the plain little meeting-house in Paul's Alley, 
Red-cross Street, since pulled down to make room for the 
Metropolitan Railway, The day's proceedings commence 
with a prayer meeting, during which the worshippers gra- 
dually drop in and go to their accustomed seats, Faraday 
taking his place on the platform devoted to the elders : then 
the more public service begins ; one of a metrical but not 
rhyming version of the Psalms is sung to a quaint old tune; 
the Lord's Prayer and another psalm follow ; he rises and 
reads in a slow, reverent manner the words of one of the 
Evangelists, with a most profound and intelligent appre- 
ciation of their meaning ; or he offers an extempore prayer, 
expressing perfect trust and submission to God's will, with 
deep humility and confession of sin. It may be his turn to 
preach. On two sides of a card he has previously sketched 
out his sermon with the illustrative texts, but the con- 
gregation does not see the card, only a little Bible in his 
hand, the pages of which he turns quickly over, as, fresh 
from an earnest heart, there flows a discourse full of devout 



thought, clothed largely in the language of Scripture. After 
a loud simultaneous "Amen" has closed the service, the 
Church members withdraw to their common meal, the feast 
of charity; and in the afternoon there is another service, 
ending by invariable custom with the Lord's Supper. The 
family group do not reach home till half-past 5 ; then there 
is a quiet evening, part of which is spent by Faraday at his 
desk, and they retire to rest at an early hour. 

Again on Wednesday evening he is among the little flock. 
The service is somewhat freer, for not the officers of the 
Church only, but the ordinary members are encouraged to 
express whatever thoughts occur to them, so as to edify one 
another. At these times, Faraday, especially when he was 
not an elder, very often had some word of exhortation, and 
the warmth of his temperament would make itself felt, for 
he was known in the small community as an experimental 
rather than a doctrinal preacher. 

The notes of his more formal discourses which I have 
had the opportunity of seeing, indicate, as might be expected 
from the tenets of his Church, a large acquaintance with the 
words of Scripture, but no knowledge of modern exegesis. 
They appear to have impressed different hearers in different 
ways. One who heard him frequently and was strongly 
attached to him, says that his sermons were too parenthetical 
and rapid in their delivery, with little variety or attractive- 
ness ; but another scientific friend, who heard him occa- 
sionally, writes : " They struck me as resembling a mosaic 
work of texts. At first you could hardly understand their 
juxtaposition and relationship, but as the well-chosen pieces 
were filled in, by degrees their .congruity and fitness became 

38 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

developed, and at last an amazing sense of the power and 
beauty of the whole filled one's thoughts at the close of the 

His first sermon as an elder was on Christ's character and 
example as shown in Matthew xi. 28-30: " Learn of me; 
for I am meek and lowly in heart." Among the latest of 
his sermons was one that he preached at Dundee about four 
years before his death. He began by telling his audience 
that his memory was failing, and he feared he could not 
quote Scripture with perfect accuracy ; and then, as said one 
of the elders who had been present, " his face shone like 
the face of an angel," as he poured forth the words of loving 

When a mind is stretched in the same direction week-day 
and Sunday, the tension is apt to become too great. With 
Faraday the first symptom was loss of memory. Then his 
devoted wife had to hurry him off" to the country for rest of 
brain. Once he had to give up work almost entirely for a 
twelvemonth. During this time he travelled in Switzerland, 
and extracts from his diary are given by Bence Jones. His 
niece, Mrs. Deacon, gives us her recollections of a month 
spent at Walmer : — " How I rejoiced to be allowed to go 
there with him ! We went on the outside of the coach, in 
his favourite seat behind the driver. When we reached 
Shooter's Hill, he was full of fun about Falstaff and the 
men in buckram, and not a sight nor a sound of interest 
escaped his quick eye and ear. At Walmer we had a 
cottage in a field, and my uncle was delighted because a 
window looked directly into a blackbird's nest built in a 
cherry-tree. He would go many times in a day to watch 




the parent birds feeding their young. I remember, too, 
how much he was interested in the young lambs, after they 
were sheared at our door, vainly trying to find their own 
mothers. The ewes, not knowing their shorn lambs, did 
not make the customary signal. In those days I was eager 
to see the sun rise, and my uncle desired me always to call 
him when I was awake. So, as soon as the glow brightened 
over Pegwell Bay, I stole downstairs and tapped at his door, 
and he would rise, and a great treat it was to watch the 
glorious sight with him. How delightful, too, to be his 
companion at sunset ! Once T remember well how we 
watched the fading light from a hill clothed with wild 
flowers, and how, as twilight stole on, the sounds of bells 
from Upper Deal broke upon our ears, and how he watched 
till all was grey. At such times he would be well pleased 
if we could repeat a few lines descriptive of his feelings," 
And then she tells us about their examining the flowers ' 
in the fields by the aid of " Galpin's Botany," and how with 
a candle he showed her a spectre on the white mist outside 
the window ; of reading lessons that ended in laughter, and 
of sea-anemones and hermit crabs, with the merriment 
caused by their odd movements as they dragged about the 
unwieldy shells they tenanted. " But of all things I used 
to like to hear him read ' Childe Harold ;' and never shall 
I forget the way in which he read the description of the 
storm on Lake Leman. He took great pleasure in Byron, 
and Coleridge's 'Hymn to Mont Blanc' delighted him. 
When anything touched his feelings as he read — and it 
happened not unfrequentiy — he would show it not only in 
his voice, but by tears in his eyes also." 

40 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. ,i 

A few days at Brighton refreshed him for his work. He 
was in the habit of running down there before his juvenile 
lectures at Christmas, and at Easter he frequently sought 
the same sea-breezes. 

But it was not always that Faraday could run away from 
London when the mental tension became excessive. A 
shorter relaxation was procured by his taking up a novel 
such as " Ivanhoe," or " Jane Eyre," or " Monte Christo. ,, 
He liked the stirring ones best, "a story with a thread to 
it" Or he would go with his wife to see Kean act, or hear 
Jenny Lind sing, or perhaps to witness the performance of 
some " Wizard of the North." 

Now and then he would pay a visit to some scene of 
early days. One of his near relatives tells me: " It is said 
that Mr. Faraday once went to the shop where his father 
had formerly been employed as a blacksmith, and asked to 
be allowed to look over the place. When he got to a part 
of the premises at which there was an opening into the 
lower workshop, he stopped and said : ' I very nearly lost 
my life there once. I was playing in the upper room at 
pitching halfpence into a pint pot close by this hole, and 
having succeeded at a certain distance, I stepped back to try 
my fortune further off, forgetting the aperture, and down I 
fell ; and if it had not been that my father was working over 
an anvil fixed just below, I should have fallen on it, broken 
my back, and probably killed myself. As it was, my father's 
back just saved mine.'" 

Business, as well as pleasure, sometimes took him away 
from home. He often joined the British Association, re- 
turning usually on Saturday, that he might be among his 


own people on the Lord's Day. During the meeting he 
would generally accept the hospitality of some friend ; and 
it was one of these occasions that gave rise to the following 
jeu d y esprit: — 

<< i 

That P will change to F in the British tongue is true 

(Quoth Professor Phillips), though the instances are few ;' 

An entry in my journal then I ventured thus to parody, 

' I this day dined with Fillips, where I hobbed and nobbed with 


"T. T. 
" Oxford, June 27, i860." 

At the Liverpool meeting, in 1837, he was president of 
the Chemical Section, and on two other occasions he was 
selected to deliver the evening lecture, but though repeatedly 
pressed to undertake the presidency of the whole body, he 
could not be prevailed upon to accept the office. 

My first personal intercourse with him, of any extent, was 
at the Ipswich meeting in 185 1. I watched him with all 
the interest of an admiring disciple, and there is deeply en- 
graven on my memory the vivacity of his conversation, the 
eagerness with which he entered into some mathematico- 
chemical speculations of Dumas, and the playfulness with 
which, when we were dining together, he cut boomerangs out 
of card, and shot them across the table at his friends. 

Professional engagements also took him not unfrequently 
into the country. Some of these will be described in the 
later sections, that treat of his mode of working and its 
valuable results. 

To comprehend a man's life it is necessary to know 
not merely what he does, but also what he purposely 

42 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

leaves undone. There is a limit to the work that can 
be got out of a human body or a human brain, and he is 
a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which 
he is not fitted ; and he is still wiser who, from among the 
things that he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows 
the best. 

. Faraday took no part in any of the political or social 
movements of his time. To politics indeed he seems to 
have been really indifferent. It was during the intensely 
interesting period of 1 8 14-15 that he was on the Continent 
with Davy, but he alludes to the taking of Paris by the 
allied troops simply because of its bearing on the movements 
of the travellers, and on March 7, 181 5, he made his 
remarkable entry in his journal : " I heard for news that 
Bonaparte was again at liberty. Being no politician, I did 
not trouble myself much about it, though I suppose it will 
have a strong influence on the affairs of Europe." In later 
days he seems to have awaked to sufficient interest to read 
the debates, and to show a Conservative tendency; he 
became a special constable in 1848, and was disposed 
generally to support "the powers that be," — though that 
involved some perplexity at a change of Government 

It is more singular that a man of his benevolent spirit 
should never have taken a' prominent part in any philan- 
thropic movement In some cases his religious views may 
have presented an obstacle, but this reason can hardly apply 
to many of those social movements in which the influence 
of his name, and his occasional presence and advice, would 
have been highly valuable. During the latter half of his life, 
he, as a rule, avoided serving on committees even for scien- 




tific objects, and was reluctant to hold office in the learned 
societies with which he was connected. I believe, however, 
chat this arose not so much from want of interest, as from a 
conviction that he was ill-suited by natural temperament for 
joining in discussions on subjects that roused the passions of 
men, or for calmly weighing the different courses of action, 
and deciding which was the most judicious. It is remarkable 
how little even of his scientific work was done in conjunc- 
tion with others. Neither did he spend time in rural occu- 
pations, or in literary or artistic pursuits. Beasts and birds 
•and flowers he looked at, but it was for recreation, not for 
study. Music he was fond of, and occasionally he visited 
the Opera, but he did not allow sweet sounds to charm him 
away from his work. He stuck closely to his fireside, his 
laboratory, his lecture table, and his church. He lived where 
he worked, so that he had only to go downstairs to put to 
the test of experiment any fresh thought that flitted across 
his brain. He almost invariably declined dinner-parties, 
except at Lady Davy's, and at Mr. and Mrs. Masquerier's 
at Brighton, towards whom he felt under an obligation on 
account of former kindnesses. If he went to a soiree, he 
usually stayed but a short time ; and even when away from 
home he generally refused private hospitality. Thus he was 
able to give almost undivided attention to the chief pursuit 
of his life. 

His residence in so accessible a part of London did, how- 
ever, expose him to the constant invasion of callers, and his 
own good nature often rendered fruitless the efforts that 
were considerately made to restrict these within reasonable 
limits. Of course he suffered from the curious and the 


inconsiderate of the human species ; and then there were 
those pertinacious bores, the dabblers in science. "One 
morning a young man called on him, and with an air of 
great importance confided to him the result of some original 
researches (so he deemed them) in electrical philosophy. 
' And pray/ asked the Professor, taking down a volume of 
Rees' Cyclopaedia, ' did you consult this or any elementary 
work to learn whether your discovery had been anticipated?' 
The young man replied in the negative. ' Then why do 
you come to waste my time about well-known facts, that 
were published forty years ago ?' 'Sir/ said the visitor, ' I 
thought I had better bring the matter to head-quarters im- 
mediately.' ' All very well for you, but not so well for head- 
quarters,' replied the Professor, sharply, and set him down 
to read the article." 

"A grave, elderly gentleman once waited upon him to 
submit to his notice ' a new law of physics.' The visitor re- 
quested that a jug of water and a tumbler might be brought, 
and then producing a cork, 'You will be pleased to observe,' 
said he, ' how persistently this cork clings to the side of the 
glass when the vessel is half filled.' * Just so,' replied the 
Professor. 'But now,' resumed this great discoverer, 'mark 
what happens when I fill the tumbler to the brim. There ! 
you see the cork flies to the centre — positively repelled by 
the sides!' 'Precisely so,' replied the amused electrician, 
with the air of a man who felt perfectly at home with the 
phenomenon, and indeed regarded it quite as an old friend. 
The visitor was evidently disconcerted. 'Pray how long 
have you known this ? ' he ventured to ask Faraday. ' Oh, 
ever'since I was a boy,' was the rejoinder. Crestfallen — his 




discovery demolished in a moment — the poor gentleman was 
retiring with many apologies, when the Professor, sincerely 
concerned at his disappointment, comforted him by sug- 
gesting that possibly he might some day alight upon some- 
thing really new." 1 

But there were other visitors who were right welcome to a 
portion of his time. One day it might be a young man, 
whom a few kind words and a little attention on the part of 
the great philosopher would send forward on the journey of 
life with new energy and hopes. Another day it might be 
some intellectual chieftain, who could meet the prince of 
experimenters on equal terms. But these are hardly to be 
regarded as interruptions ; — rather as a part of his chosen 

Here is one instance in the words of Mr. Robert Mallet. 
" .... I was, in the years that followed, never in London 
without paying him a visit, and on one of those times I 
ventured to ask him (if not too much engaged) to let me see 
where he and Davy had worked together. With the most 
simple graciousness he brought me through the whole of 
the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street. Brande's furnaces, 
Davy's battery, the place in the laboratory where he told 
me he had first observed the liquefaction of chlorine, are all 
vividly before me— but nothing so clear or vivid as our 
conversation over a specimen of green (crown) glass, par- 
tially devitrified in floating opaque white spheres of radiating 
crystals : he touched luminously on the obscure relation of 
the vitreous and crystalloid states, and on the probable 
nature of the nuclei of the white spheres. My next visit to 

1 British Quarterly Review, April 1868. 

46 MICHAEL FARADA V. [sect. 


Faraday that 1 recollect was not long after my paper ' On the ^ 

Dynamics of Earthquakes ' had appeared in the Transactions 
of the Royal Irish Academy. He almost at once referred 
to it in terms of praise that seemed to me so far beyond 
my due, that even now I recall the very humble way I 
felt, as the thought of Faraday's own transcendent merits 
rushed across my mind. I ventured to ask him, had the 
paper engaged his attention sufficiently that I might ask 
him — did he consider my explanation of the before sup- 
posed vorticose shock sufficient ? To my amazement he at 
once recited nearly word for word the paragraph in which 
I took some pains to put my views into a demonstrative 
shape, and ended, with, 'It is as plain and certain as a 
proposition of Euclid ! ' And yet the subject was one 
pretty wide away from his own objects of study." 

Often, too, if some interesting fact was exhibited to him, 
he would send to his brother savants some such note as 
this : — 

"Royal Institution, 4/A May, 1852. 

" My dear Wheatstone, 

" Dr. Dubois-Raymond will be making his experi- 
ments here next Thursday, the 6th, from and after 1 1 o'clock. 
I wish to let you know, that you may if you like join the 

select few. 

" Ever truly yours, 

" M. Faraday." 

It was indeed his wont to share with others the delight of 
a new discovery. Thus Sir Henry Holland tells me that he 
used frequently to run to his house in Brook Street with 


some piece of scientific news. One of these visits was after 
reading Bunsen and KirchhofTs paper on Spectrum Analysis ; 
and he did not stop short with merely telling the tale of the 
special rays of light shot forth by each metallic vapour, as 
the following letter will show. It is addressed to the present 
Baroness Burdett Coutts. 

"Royal Institution, Friday -, Vjih May. 

" Dear Miss Coutts, 

" To-morrow, at 4 o'clock, immediately after Max 

Miiller's lecture, I shall show Sir Henry Holland an apparatus 

which has arrived from Munich to manifest the phenomena 

of light which have recently been made known to us by 

Bunsen and Kirchhoff. Mr. Barlow will be here, and he 

suggests that you would like to know of the occasion. If 

you are inclined to see how philosophers work and live, and 

so are inclined to climb our narrow stairs (for I must show 

the experiments in my room), we shall be most happy to 

see you. The experiments will not be beautiful except to 

the intelligent. 

" Ever your faithful Servant, 

" M. Faraday." 

Sometimes, too, the exhibition of a scientific fact would 
take him away from home. Thus, when her Majesty and 
the Prince Consort once paid a private visit to the Poly- 
technic, Mr. Pepper arranged a surprise for the Royal party, 
by getting Faraday in a quiet room to explain the Ruhm- 
korfTs coil — the latest development of his own inductive 

48 MICHAEL FARADAY.' [sect. 

currents. This he did with his usual vivacity and enthu- 
siasm, and the interview is said to have gratified the phi- 
losopher as well as the Queen. 

He could not, however, escape the inroads made upon 
his time by correspondence. People would write and ask 
him questions. Once a solitary prisoner wrote to tell him, 
" It is indeed in studying the great discoveries which science 
is indebted to you for, that I render my captivity less sad, 
and make time flow with rapidity," — and then he proceeds 
to ask, " What is the most simple combination to give to a 
voltaic battery, in order to produce a spark capable of setting 
fire to powder under water, or under ground ? Up to the 
present I have only seen employed to that purpose piles of 
thirty to forty pairs constructed on Dr. Wollaston's princi- 
ples. They are very large and inconvenient for field service. 
Could not the same effect be produced by two spiral pairs 
only? and if so, what can be their smallest dimension?" 
And who was the prisoner who thus speculated on the 
applications of science to war ? It was no other than Prince 
Louis Napoleon, then immured in the fortress of Ham, 
and now the ex-Emperor of the French. At another time 
he wrote asking for his advice in the manufacture of an 
alloy which should be about as soft as lead, but not so 
fusible, — a question which also had evident bearing upon 
the art of war ; and offering at the same time to pay the cost 
of any experiments that might be necessary. 

Often, too, the correspondents of Faraday thought that 
they were doing him a kindness. He says somewhere: 
" The number of suggestions, hints for discovery, and pro- 
positions of various kinds, offered to me very freely and 


with perfect goodwill and simplicity on the part of the 
proposers, for my exclusive investigation and final honour, 
is remarkably great, and it is no less remarkable that but 
for one exception — that of Mr. Jenkin — they have all been 
worthless. ... I have, I think, universally found that the 
man whose mind was by nature or self-education fitted to 
make good and worthy suggestions, was also the man both 
able and willing to work them out." 

Both the askers of questions and the givers of advice 
expected answers — and the answers came. Most of Fara- 
day's letters, indeed, are of a purely business character: 
sometimes they are very laconic, as the note in which he 
announced to Dr. Paris one of his principal discoveries : — 

"Dear Sir, 

"The oil you noticed yesterday turns out to be 
liquid chlorine. " Yours faithfully, 

"M. Faraday."' 

But in other letters, as may be expected, there is found 
the enthusiasm of his ardent nature, or the glow of his 
genial spirit. An instance or two may suffice. 

" Royal Institution, 24/A March, 1843. 
"Dear Sir, 

"I have received and at once looked at your 

paper. Many thanks for so good a contribution to the 

beloved science. What glorious steps electricity has taken 

in the days within our remembrance, and what hopes are 

held out for the future ! The great difficulty is to remove 

the mists which dim the dawn of a subject, and I cannot 




but consider your paper as doing very much that way for 
a most important part of natural knowledge. 

" I am, my dear Sir, 

" Most truly yours, 

"M. Faraday." 
"J. P. Joule, Esq." 

" Royal Institution, 15/A Oct., 1853. 

"My dear Miss Moore, 

" The summer is going away, and I never (but for 
one day) had any hopes of profiting by your kind offer of 
the roof of your house in Ciarges Street. What a feeble 
summer it has been as regards sunlight ! I have made a 
good many preliminary experiments at home, but they do 
not encourage me in the direction towards which I was 
looking. All is misty and dull, both the physical and the 
mental prospect. But I have ever found that the experi- 
mental philosopher has great need of patience, that he may 
not be downcast by interposing obstacles, and perseverance, 
that he may either overcome them, or open out a new path 
to the bourn he desires to reach. So perhaps next summer 
I may think of your housetop again. Many thanks for 
your kind letter and ail your kindnesses uswards. My wife 
had your note yesterday, and I enjoyed the violets, which 
for a time I appropriated. 

"With kindest remembrances and thoughts to all with 
you and her at Hastings, 

" I am, my dear Friend, 

" Very faithfully yours, 

" M. Faraday." 


The following is written to Mr. Frank Barnard, then an 
Art student in Paris : — 

" Royal Institution, gtA Nov., 1852. 
"My dear Nephew, 

"Though I am not a letter-writer and shall not 
profess to send you any news, yet I intend to waste your 
time with one sheet of paper : first to thank you for your 
letter to me, and then to thank you for what I hear of your 
letters to others. You were very kind to take the trouble 
of executing my commissions, when I know your heart was 
bent upon the entrance to your studies. Your account of 
M. Arago was most interesting to me, though I should have 
been glad if in the matter of health you could have made it 
better. He has a wonderful mind and spirit And so you 
are hard at work, and somewhat embarrassed by your posi- 
tion : but no man can do just as he likes, and in many 
things he has to give way, and may do so honourably, 
provided he preserve his self-respect Never, my dear 
Frank, lose that, whatever may be the alternative. Let no 
one tempt you to it ; for nothing can be expedient that is 
not right ; and though some of your companions may 
tease you at first, they will respect you for your consistency 
in the end ; and if they pretend not to do so, it is of no 
consequence. However, I trust the hardest part of your 
probation is over, for the earliest is usually the hardest ; and 
that you know how to take all things quietly. Happily 
for you, there is nothing in your pursuit which need em- 
barrass you in Paris. I think you never cared for home 
politics, so that those of another country are not likely to 

E 2 


52 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

occupy your attention, and a stranger can be but a very 
poor judge of a new people and their requisites. 

" I think all your family are pretty well, but I know you 
will hear all the news from your appointed correspondent 
Jane, and, as I said, I am unable to chronicle anything. 
Still, I am always very glad to hear how you are going on, 
and have a sight of all that I may see of the correspondence. 

" Ever, my dear Frank, 

" Your affectionate Uncle, 

" M. Faraday." 

His scientific researches were very numerous. The Royal 
Society Catalogue gives under the name of Faraday a list 
of 158 papers, published in various scientific magazines or 
learned Transactions. Many of these communications are 
doubtless short, but a short philosophical paper often repre- 
sents a large amount of brain work ; a score of them are 
the substance of his Friday evening discourses ; while others 
are lengthy treatises, the records of long and careful inves- 
tigations; and the list includes the thirty series of his 
*' Experimental Researches in Electricity." These extended 
over a period of twenty-seven years, and were afterwards 
reprinted from the " Philosophical Transactions," and form 
three goodly volumes, with 3,430 numbered paragraphs — one 
of the most marvellous monuments of intellectual work, one 
of the rarest treasure-houses of newly-discovered knowledge, 
with which the world has ever been enriched. Faraday 
never published but one book in the common acceptation 
of the term — it was on " Chemical Manipulation," — but 
there appeared another large volume of reprinted papers ; 


and three of his courses of lectures were also published as 
separate small books, though not by himself. It is very 
tempting to linger among these 158 papers; but this is 
not intended as a scientific biography, and those readers 
who wish to make themselves better acquainted with his 
work will find an admirable summary of it in Professor 
Tyndall's " Faraday as a Discoverer." In Sections IV. 
and V., however, I have endeavoured to give an idea of 
his manner of working, and of the practical benefits that 
have flowed to mankind from some of his discoveries. 

As these papers appeared his fame grew wider and wider. 
When a comparatively young man he was naturally desirous 
of appending the mystic letters " F.R.S." to his name, and 
he was balloted into the Royal Society m January 1824, not 
without strong opposition from his master, Sir Humphry 
Davy, then president. He paid the fees, and never sought 
another distinction of the kind But they were showered 
down upon him. The Philosophical Society of Cambridge 
had already acknowledged his merits, and the learned Aca- 
demies of Paris and Florence had enrolled him amongst 
their corresponding members. Heidelberg and St. Peters- 
burg, Philadelphia and Boston, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Pa- 
lermo, quickly followed : and as the fame of his researches 
spread, very many other learned societies in Europe and 
America, as well as at home, brought to him the tribute 
of their honorary membership. 1 He thrice received the 
degree of Doctor, Oxford making him a D.C.L., Prague a 
Ph.D., and Cambridge an LL.D., besides which he was 
instituted a Chevalier of the Prussian Order of Merit, a 

1 See Appendix. 

54 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

Commander of the Legion of Honour, and a Knight Com- ^ 

mander of the Order of St Maurice and St. Lazarus. Among 
the medals which he received were each of those at the dis- 
posal of the Royal Society — indeed the Copley medal was 
given him twice — and the Grande Me'daille d'Honneur at 
the time of the French Exhibition. Altogether it appears 
he was decorated with ninety-five titles and marks of merit, 1 
including the blue ribbon of science, for in 1844 he was 
chosen one of the eight foreign associates of the French 

Though he had never passed through a university career, 
he was made a member of the Senate of the University ot 
London, which he regarded as one of his chief honours ; 
and he showed his appreciation of the importance of the 
office by a diligent attendance to its duties. 

As the recognized prince of investigators, it is no wonder 
that on the resignation of Lord Wrottesley, an attempt was 
made to induce him to become President of the Royal 
Society. A deputation waited upon him and urged the 
unanimous wish of the Council and of scientific men. 
Faraday begged for time to consider. Tyndall gives us 
an insight into the reasons that led him to decline. He 
tells us : "On the following morning I went up to his room, 
and said, on entering, that I had come to him with some 
anxiety of mind. He demanded its cause, and I responded, 
* Lest you should have decided against the wishes of the 
deputation that waited on you yesterday.' ' You would not 

1 No wonder the celebrated electrician P. Riess, of Berlin, once ad- 
dressed a long letter to him as " Professor Michael Faraday, Member of 
all Academies of Science, London." 


urge me to undertake' this responsibility,' he said. ' I not 
only urge you/ was my reply, ' but I consider it your 
bounden duty to accept it.' He spoke of the labour that 
it would involve ; urged that it was not in his nature to take 
things easy ; and that if he became president, he would 
surely have to stir many new questions, and agitate for 
some changes. I said that in such cases he would find 
himself supported by the youth and strength of the Royal 
Society. This, however, did not seem to satisfy him. 
Mrs. Faraday came into the room, and he appealed to 
her. Her decision was adverse, and I deprecated her 
decision. 'Tyndall,' he said at length, 'I must remain 
plain Michael Faraday to the last ; and let me now tell 
you, that if I accepted the honour which the Royal Society 
desires you to confer upon me, I would not answer for the 
integrity of my intellect for a single year.' n 

In 1835 Sir Robert Peel desired to confer pensions as 
honourable distinctions on Faraday and some other emi- 
nent men. Lord Melbourne, who succeeded him as Prime 
Minister, in making the offer at a private interview, gave 
utterance to some hasty expressions that appeared to the 
man of science to reflect on the honour of his profession, 
and led to his declining the money. The King, William 
IV., was struck with the unusual nature of the proceeding, 
and kept repeating the story of Faraday's refusal; and 
about a month afterwards the Premier, dining with Dr. 
(now Sir Henry) Holland, begged him to convey a letter 
to the Professor and to press on him the acceptance of 
the pension. The letter was couched in such honourable 
and . conciliatory terms, that Faraday's personal objection 

56 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

could no longer apply, and he expressed his willingness 
to receive this mark of national approval. A version of 
the matter that found its way into the public prints caused 
fresh annoyance, and nearly produced a final refusal, but 
through the kind offices of friends who had interested 
themselves throughout in the matter, a friendly feeling 
was again arrived at, and the pension of ^300 a year 
was granted and accepted. 

In 1858 the Queen offered him a house at Hampton 
Court. It was a pretty little place, situated in the well-known 
Green in front of the Palace; and in that quiet retreat 
Faraday spent a large portion of his remaining years. 

In October 1861 he wrote a letter to the managers of 
the Royal Institution, resigning part of his duties, in which 
he reviewed his connection with them. " I entered the 
Royal Institution in March 18 13, nearly forty-nine years 
ago, and, with the exception of a comparatively short period 
during which I was abroad on the Continent with Sir H. 
Davy, have been with you ever since. During that time T 
have been most happy in your kindness, and in the foster- 
ing care which the Royal Institution has bestowed upon me. 
Thank God, first, for all His gifts. I have next to thank 
you and your predecessors for the unswerving encourage- 
ment and support which you have given me during that 
period. My life has been a happy one, and all I desired. 
During its progress I have tried to make a fitting return 
for it to the Royal Institution, and through it to science. 
But the progress of years (now amounting in number to three- 
score and ten) having brought forth first the period of develop- 
ment, and then that of maturity, have ultimately produced 



for me that of gentle decay. This has taken place in such 
a manner as to make the evening of life a blessing ; for 
whilst increasing physical weakness occurs, a full share of 
health free from pain is granted with it ; and whilst me- 
mory and certain other faculties of the mind diminish, my 
good spirits and cheerfulness do not diminish with them." 

When he could no longer discharge effectually his duties 
at the Trinity House, the Corporation quietly made their 
arrangements for transferring them, and, with the concur- 
rence of the Board of Trade, determined that his salary of 
200/. per annum should continue as long as he lived. Sir 
Frederick Arrow called upon him at Albemarle Street, and 
explained how the matter stood, but he found it hard to 
persuade the Professor that there was no injustice in his 
continuing to receive the money ; then, taking hold of Sir 
Frederick by one hand and Dr. Tyndall by the other, 
Faraday, with swimming eyes, passed over his office to 
his successor. 

Gradually but surely the end approached. The loss of 
memory was followed by other symptoms of declining power. 
The fastenings of his earthly tabernacle were removed one 
by one, and he looked forward to " the house not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens." This was no new 
anticipation. Calling on the friend who had long directed 
with him the affairs of the Institution, but who was then 
half paralysed, he had said, " Barlow, you and I are waiting ; 
that is what we have to do now ; and we must try to do it 
patiently." He had written to his niece, Mrs. Deacon : " I 
cannot think that death has to the Christian anything in it 
that should make it rare, or other than a constant, thought ; 

58 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

out of the view of death comes the view of the life beyond 
the grave, as out of the view of sin (the true and the real 
view which the Holy Spirit alone can give to a man) comes 
the glorious hope. . . . My worldly faculties are slipping 
away day by day. Happy is it for all of us that the true 
good lies not in them As they ebb, may they leave us as 
little children trusting in the Father of Mercies, and accept- 
ing His unspeakable gift." And when the dark shadow was 
creeping over him, he wrote to the Comte de Paris : " I bow 
before Him who is Lord of all, and hope to be kept waiting 
patiently for His time and mode of releasing me according 
to His Divine Word, and the great and precious promises 
whereby His people are made partakers of the Divine nature." 
His niece, Miss Jane Barnard, who tended him with most 
devoted care, thus wrote from Hampton Court on the 27th 
June : — " The kind feelings shown on every side towards my 
dear uncle, and the ready offers of help, are most soothing. 
I am thankful to say that we are going on very quietly ; he 
keeps his bed and sleeps much, and we think that the 
paralysis gains on him, but between whiles he speaks most 
pleasant words, showing his comfort and trust in the finished 
work of our Lord. The other day he repeated some verses 
of the 46th Psalm, and yesterday a great part of the 23rd. 
We can only trust that it may be given us to say truly, 
1 Thy will be done ; ' indeed, the belief that all things 
work together for good to them that believe, is an anchor 
of hope, sure and steadfast, to the soul. We are surrounded 
by most kind and affectionate friends, and it is indeed 
touching to see what warm feelings my dear uncle has 
raised on all sides." 


When his faculties were fading fast, he would sit long at 
the western window, watching the glories of the sunset ; 
and one day when his wife drew his attention to a beauti- 
ful rainbow that then spanned the sky, he looked beyond 
the falling shower and the many-coloured arch, and 
observed, "He hath set his testimony in the heavens." 
On August 25, 1867, quietly, almost imperceptibly, came 
the release. There was a philosopher less on earth, and a 
saint more in heaven. 

The funeral, at his own request, was of the simplest 
character. His remains were conveyed to Highgate 
Cemetery by his relations, and deposited in the grave, 
according to the practice of his Church, in perfect* silence. 
Few of his scientific friends were in London that bright 
summer-time, but Professor Graham and one or two others 
came out from the shrubbery, and joining the group of 
family mourners, took their last look at the coffin. 

But when this sun had set below our earthly horizon, 
there seemed to spring up in the minds of men a great 
desire to catch some of the rays of the fading brightness 
and reflect them to posterity. A " Faraday Memorial " was 
soon talked of, and the work is now in the sculptors 
hands; the Chemical Society has founded a "Faraday 
Lectureship ; ,? one of the new streets in Paris has been 
called " Rue Faraday;" biographical sketches have appeared 
in marly of the British and Continental journals; succes- 
sive books have told the story of his life and work ; and 
in a thousand hearts there is embalmed the memory of this 
Christian gentleman and philosopher. 


60 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 



In the previous section we have traced the leading events 
of a life which . was quietly and uniformly successful We 
have watched the passage of the errand-boy into the 
philosopher, and we have seen how at first he begged for 
the meanest place in a scientific workshop, and at last 
declined the highest honour which British Science was 
capable of granting. His success did not lie in the 
amassing of money — he deliberately turned aside from the 
path of proffered wealth; nor did it lie in the attain- 
ment of social position and titles — he did not care for 
the weight of these. But if success consists in a life 
full of agreeable occupation, with the knowledge that its 
labours are adding to the happiness and wealth of the 
world, leading on to an old age full of honour, and the 
prospect of a blissful immortality, — then the highest success 
crowned the life of Faraday. 

How did he obtain it ? Not by inheritance, and not by 
the force of circumstances. The wealth or the reputation 
of fathers is often an invaluable starting-point for sons : a 
liberal education and the contact of superior minds in 


*. early youth is often a mighty help to the young aspirant : 

the favour of powerful friends will often place on a vantage- 
ground the struggler in the battle of life. But Faraday had 
none of these. Accidental circumstances sometimes push 
a man forward, or give him a special advantage over his 
fellows ; but Faraday had to make his circumstances, and 
to seize the small favours that fortune sometimes threw in 
his way. The secret of his success lay in the qualities of 
his mind. 

It is only fair, however, to remark that he started with no 
disadvantages. There was no stain in the family history : 
he had no dead weight to carry, of a disgraced name, or 01 
bad health, or deficient faculties, or hereditary tendencies to 

^ vice. It must be acknowledged, too, that he was endowed 

with a naturally clear understanding and an unusual power 
of looking below the surface of things. 

The first element of success that we meet with in his 

Y biography is the faitjifulaess with which he did his work. 

This led the bookseller to take his poor errand-boy as an 
apprentice ; and this enabled his father to write, when he 
was 1 8 : " Michael is bookbinder and stationer, and is very 
active at learning his business. He has been most part of 
four years of his time out of seven. He has a very good master 
and mistress, and likes his place welL He had a hard time 
for some while at first going ; but, as the old saying goes, 

pr he has rather got the head above water, as there is two other 

boys under him. M This faithful industry marked also his 
relations with Davy and Brande, and the whole of his sub- 
sequent life ; and at last, when he found that he could no 
longer discharge his duties, it made him repeatedly press 

62 MICHAEL FAR ADA Y. [sect. 

his resignation on the managers of the Royal Institution, 
and beg to be relieved of his eldership in the Church. 

His lo ve oL .sfcudy, and hunger after knowledge, led him 
to the particular career which he pursued, and that power 
of imagination, which reveals itself in his early letters, 
grew and grew, till it gave him such a familiarity with 
the unseen forces of nature as has never been vouchsafed 
to any other mortal. 

As a source of success there stands out also his enthu- 
siasm. A new fact seemed to charge him with an energy 
that gleamed from his eyes and quivered through his limbs, 
and, as by induction, charged for the time those in his 
presence with the same vigour of interest. Plucker, of 
Bonn, was showing him one day in the laboratory at Albe- 
marle Street his experiments on the action of a magnet on 
the electric discharge in vacuum tubes. Faraday danced 
round them ; and as he saw the moving arches of light, he 
cried, " Oh ! to live in it ! " Mr. James Heywood once 
met him in the thick of a tremendous storm at East- 
bourne, rubbing his hands with delight because he had 
been fortunate enough to see the lightning strike the church 
tower, and displace a pinnacle. 

This enthusiasm led him to throw all his heart into his 
work. Nor was the energy spasmodic, or wasted on 
unworthy objects; for, in the words of Bence Jones, his 
was "a lifelong lasting strife to seek and say that which 
he thought was true, and to do that which he thought 
was kind." 

Indeed, his perseverance in a noble strife was another of 
the grand elements in his success. His tenacity of purpose 


showed itself equally in little and in great things. Arrang- 
ing some apparatus one day with a philosophical instrument 
maker, he let fall on the floor a small piece of glass : he 
made several ineffectual attempts to pick it up. " Never 
mind," said his companion, " it is not worth the trouble." 
" Well, but, Murray, I don't like to be beaten by something 
that I have once tried to do." 

The same principle is apparent in that long series of 
electrical researches, where for a quarter of a century he 
marched steadily along that path of discovery into which he 
had been lured by the genius of Davy. And so, whatever 
course was set before him, he ran with patience towards the 
goal, not diverted by the thousand objects of interest which 
he passed by, nor stopping to pick up the golden apples 
that were flung before his feet. 

This tremendous faculty of work was relieved by a 
wonderful playfulness. This rarely appears in his writings, 
but was very frequent in his social intercourse. It was a 
simple-hearted joyousness, the effervescence of a spirit at 
peace with God and man. It not seldom, however, assumed 
•the form of good-natured banter or a practical joke. Indi- 
cations of this playfulness have already been given, and 
I have tried to put upon paper some instances that occur 
to my own recollection, but the fun depended so much 
upon his manner, that it loses its aroma when separated 
from himself. 

However, I will try one story. I was spending a night at 
an hotel at Ramsgate when on lighthouse business. Early in 
the morning there came a knock at the bed-room door, but, 
as I happened to be performing my ablutions, I cried, 


" Who's there ?" " Guess." I went over the names of my 
brother commissioners, but heard only " No, no," till, not 
thinking of any other friend likely to hunt me up in that 
place, I left off guessing ; and on opening the door I saw 
Faraday enjoying with a laugh my inability to recognize 
his voice through a deal board. 

A student of the late Professor Daniell tells me that he 
remembers Faraday often coming into the lecture-room at 
King's College just when the Professor had finished and' 
was explaining matters more fully to any of his pupils who 
chose to come down to the table. One day the subject dis- 
coursed on and illustrated had been sulphuretted hydrogen, 
and a little of the gas had escaped into the room, as it 
perversely will do. When Faraday entered he put on a 
look of astonishment, as though he had never smelt such 
a thing before, and in a comical manner said, " Ah ! a 
savoury lecture, Daniell ! " On another occasion there was 
a little ammonia left in a jar over mercury. He pressed 
Daniell to tell him what it was, and when the Professor 
had put his head down to see more clearly, he whiffed some 
of the pungent gas into his face. 

Occasionally this humour was turned to good account, as 
when, one Friday evening before the lecture, he told the 
audience that he had been requested by the managers to 
mention two cases of infringement of rule. The first related 
to the red cord which marks off the members' seats. "The 
second case I take to be a hypothetical one, namely, that of 
a gentleman wearing his hat in the drawing-room." This 
produced a laugh, which the Professor joined in, bowed, and 


This faithful discharge of duty, this almost intuitive 
insight into natural phenomena, and this persevering enthu- 
siasm in the pursuit of truth, might alone have secured a 
great position in the scientific world, but they alone could 
never have won for him that large inheritance of respect 
and love. His contemporaries might have gazed upon him 
with an interest and admiration akin to that with which he 
watched a thunderstorm ; but who feels his affections drawn 
out towards a mere intellectual Jupiter? We must look 
deeper into his character to understand this. There is a 
law well recognized in the science of light and heat, that a 
body can absorb only the same sort of rays which it is 
capable of emitting. Just so is it in the moral world. The 
respect and love of his generation were given to Faraday 
because his own nature was full of love and respect for 

Each of these qualities} — his respect for and love to 
others, or, more generally, his reverence and kindliness — 
deserves careful examination. 

Throughout his life, Michael Faraday appeared as though 
standing in a reverential attitude towards Nature, Man, 
and God. 

Towards Nature, for he regarded the universe as a vast 
congeries of facts which would not bend to human theories. 
Speaking of his own early life, he says : " I was a very lively 
imaginative person, and could believe in the 'Arabian 
Nights ' as easily as in the ' Encyclopaedia ; ' but facts were 
important to me, and saved me. I could trust a fact, and 
always cross-examined an assertion." He was indeed a true 
disciple of that philosophy which says, " Man, who is the 


66 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. Tsect. 

servant and interpreter of Nature, can act and understand 
no farther than he has, either in operation or in contem- 
plation, observed of the method and order of Nature." 1 
And verily Nature admitted her servant into her secret 
chambers, and showed him marvels to interpret to his 
fellow-men more wonderful and beautiful than the phantas- 
magoria of Eastern romance. 

His reverence towards Man showed itself in the respect 
he uniformly paid to others and to himself. Thoroughly 
genuine and simple-hearted himself, he was wont to credit 
his fellow-men with high motives and good reasons. This 
was rather uncomfortable when one was conscious of no 
such merit, and I at least have felt ashamed in his presence 
of the poor commonplace grounds of my words and actions. 
To be in his company was in fact a moral tonic. As he 
had learned the difficult art of honouring all men, he was 
not likely to run after those whom the world counted great 
" We must get Garibaldi to come some Friday evening/' 
said a member of the Institution during the visit of the 
Italian hero to London. " Well, if Garibaldi thinks he can 
learn anything from us, we shall be happy to see him," was 
Faraday's reply. This nobility of regard not only preserved 
him from envying the success of other explorers in the 
same field, but led him heartily to rejoice with them in their 
discoveries. . 

Dumas gives us a picture of Foucault showing Faraday 
some of his admirable experiments, and of the two men 
looking at one another with eyes moistened, but full of 
bright expression, as they stood hand in hand, silently 

1 Bacon's " Novum Organum," L i. 


thankful — the one for the pleasure he had experienced, the 

other for the honour that had been done him. He also 


tells how, on another occasion, he breakfasted at Albemarle 
Street, and during the meal Mr. Faraday made some eulo- 
gistic remarks upon Davy, which were coldly received by 
his guest. After breakfast, he was taken downstairs to the 
ante-room of the lecture theatre, when Faraday, walking up 
to the portrait of his old master, exclaimed, " Wasn't he a 
great man ! " then turning round to the window next the 
entrance door, he added, "It was there that he spoke to me 
for the first time." The Frenchman bowed. They descended 
the stairs again to the laboratory. Faraday pulled out an 
old note-book, and turning over its pages showed where 
Davy had entered the means by which the first globule of 
potassium was produced, and had drawn a line round the 
description, with the words, " Capital experiment." The 
French chemist owned himself vanquished, and tells the 
tale in honour of him who remembered the greatness and 
forgot the littlenesses of his teacher. 

And the respect he showed to others he required to be 
shown to himself. It is difficult to imagine anyone taking 
liberties with him, and it was only in early life that there 
were small-minded creatures who would treat him not 
according to what he was, but according to the position 
from which he had risen. His servants and workpeople 
were always attentive to the smallest expression of his 
wish. Still, he did not " go through his life with his elbows 
out." He once wrote to Matteucci : " I see that that moves 
you which would move me most, viz. the imputation of 
a want of good faith ; and I cordially sympathize with any- 

F 2 

68 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

_w ii i i - ii 111 ■ im -m ■ ■ i i- ■ i — i 1 r—" 1 — 1 

one who is so charged unjustly. Such cases have seemed 
to me almost the only ones for which it is worth while 
entering into controversy. I have felt myself not unfre- 
quently misunderstood, often misrepresented, sometimes 
passed by, as in the cases of specific inductive capacity, 
magneto-electric currents, definite electrolytic action, &c. 
&c. : but it is only in the cases where moral turpitude 
has been implied, that I have felt called upon to enter on 
the subject in reply." Yet, where he felt that his honour 
was impugned, none could be more sensitive or more 

This desire to clear himself, combined with his delicate 
regard for the feelings of others, struck me forcibly in the 
following incident. At Mr. Barlow's, one Friday evening 
after the discourse, two or three other chemists and myself 
were commenting unfavourably on a public act of Faraday, 
when suddenly he appeared beside us. I did not hesitate 
to tell him my opinion. He gave me a short answer, and 
joined others of the company. A few days afterwards 
he found me in the laboratory preparing for a lecture, 
and, without referring directly to what I had said, he 
gave me a full history of the transaction in such a way 
as to show that he could not haye acted otherwise, and 
at the same time to render any apology on my part 

Intimately connected with his respect for Man as well as 
reverence for truth, was the flash of his indignation against 
any injustice, and his hot anger against any whom he dis- 
covered to be pretenders. When, for instance, he had 
convinced himself that the reputed facts of table-turning 


and spiritualism were false, his severe denunciation of the 
whole thing followed as a matter of course. 

Thus, too, a story is told of his once taking the side of 
the injured in a street quarrel by the pump in Savile Row. 
One evening also at my house, a young man who has since 
acquired a scientific renown was showing specimens of 
some new compounds he had made. A well-known chemist 
contemptuously objected that, after all, they were mere pro- 
ducts of the laboratory : but Faraday came to the help of 
the young experimenter, and contended that they were 
chemical substances worthy of attention, just as much as 
though they occurred in nature. 

His reverence for God was shown not merely by that 
homage which every religious man must pay to his Creator 
and Redeemer, but by the enfolding of the words of Scrip- 
ture and similar expressions in such a robe of sacredness, 
that he rarely allowed them to pass his lips or flow from his 
pen, unless he was convinced of the full sympathy of the 
person with whom he was holding intercourse. 

This characteristic reverence was united to an equally 
characteristic kindliness. This word does not exactly 
express the quality intended ; but unselfishness is negative, 
goodness is too general, love is commonly used with special 
applications; kindness, friendship, geniality, and benevo- 
lence are only single aspects of the quality. Let the reader 
add these terms all together, and the resultant will be about 
what is meant. 1 

Faraday's love to children was one way in which this 

1 Bence Jones has used the Greek dyd-try ; and it was just this ideal of 
Christian love which Faraday set before himself. 

7o MICHAEL FARAD A V. [sect. 

kindliness was shown. Having no children of his own, he 
surrounded himself usually with his nieces : we have already 
had a glimpse of him heartily entering into their play, and 
we are told how a word or two from Uncle would clear away 
all the trouble from a difficult lesson, that a long sum in 
arithmetic became a delight when he undertook to explain 
it, and that when the little girl was naughty and rebellious, 
he could gently win her round, telling her how he used to 
feel himself when he was young, and advising her to submit 
to the reproof she was fighting against Nor were his own 
relatives the only sharers of his kindness. One friend 
cherishes among his earliest recollections, that of Faraday 
making for him a fly-cage and a paper purse, which had a 
real bright half-crown in it. When the present Mr. Baden 
Powell was a little fellow of thirteen, he used to give 
short lectures on chemistry in his father's house, and the 
philosopher of Albemarle Street liked to join the family 
audience, and would listen and applaud the experiments 
heartily. When one day my wife and I called on him with 

, our children, he set them playing at hide-and-seek in the 
lecture theatre, and afterwards amused them upstairs with 

I tuning-forks and resounding glasses. At a soirk at Mr. 
Justice Grove's, he wanted to see the younger children 
of the family; so the eldest daughter brought down the 
little ones in their nightgowns to the foot of the stairs, 
and Faraday expressed his gratification with "Ah ! that's the 
best thing you have done to-night." And when his faculties 
had nearly faded, it is remembered how the stroking of his 
hand by Mr. Vincent's little daughter quickened him again 
to bright and loving interest. 



It would be easy to multiply illustrations of this kind- 
liness in various relations of life. 

Here is one of his own telling, where certainly the effect 
produced was not owing to any knowledge of how princely 
an intellect underlay the loving spirit. It is from a journal 
of his tour in Wales : — % 

" Tuesday, July 20th. — After dinner I set off on a ramble 
to Melincourt, a waterfall on the north side of the valley, 
and about six miles from our inn. Here I got a little 
damsel for my guide who could not speak a word of 
English. We, however, talked together all the way to the 
fall, though neither knew what the other said. I was 
delighted with her burst of pleasure as, on turning a 
corner, she first showed me the waterfall. Whilst I was 
admiring the scene, my little Welsh damsel was busy run- 
ning about, even under the stream, gathering strawberries. 
On returning from the fall I gave her a shilling that I 
might enjoy her pleasure: she curtsied, and I perceived 
her delight. She again ran before me back to the village, 
but wished to step aside every now and then to pull straw- 
berries. Every bramble she carefully moved out of the 
way, and ventured her bare feet to try stony paths, that 
she might find the safest for mine. I observed her as 
she ran before me, when she met a village companion, 
open her hand to show her prize, but without any stop- 
page, word, or other motion. When we returned to the 
village I bade her good-night, and she bade me farewell, 
both by her actions and, I have no doubt, her language 

In a letter which Mr. Abel, the Director of the Chemical 


72 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. ^ 

Department of the War Establishment, has sent me, occur 
the following remarks : — 

" Early in 1849 I was appointed, partly through the kind 
recommendation of Faraday, to instruct the senior cadets 
and a class of artillery officers in the Arsenal, in practical 
chemistry. On the occasion of 'my first attendance at 
Woolwich, when, having just reached manhood, I was 
about to deliver my first lecture as a recognized teacher, 
I" was naturally nervous, and was therefore dismayed when 
on entering the class-room I perceived Faraday, who, 
having come to Woolwich, as usual, to prepare for his 
next morning's lecture at the Military Academy, had been 
prompted by his kindly feelings to lend me the support 
of his presence upon my first appearance among his old 
pupils. In a moment Faraday put me completely at my 
ease ; he greeted me heartily, saying, * Well, Abel, I have 
come to see whether I can assist you;' and suiting 
action to word, he bustled about, persisting in helping 
rne in the arrangement of my lecture-tables, — and at the 
close of my demonstration he followed me from pupil to 
pupil, aiding %ach in his first attempt at manipulation, and 
evidently enjoying most heartily the self-imposed duty of 
assistant to his young protkgk." 

Another scientific friend, Mr. W. F. Barrett, writes: — 
" My first interview with Mr. Faraday ten years ago left an 
impression upon me I can never forget. Young student 
as I then was, thinking chiefly of present work and little 
of future prospects, and till then unknown to Mr. Faraday, 
judge of my feelings when, taking my hand in both of his, 
he said, ' I congratulate 4 you upon choosing to be a phil<h 


sopher : it is an arduous life, but a noble and a glorious one. 
Work hard, and work carefully, and you will have success.' 
The sweet yet serious way he said this made the earnest- 
ness of work become a very vivid reality, and led me to 
doubt whether I had not dared to undertake too lofty a 
pursuit. After this Mr. Faraday never forgot to remember 
me in a number of thoughtful and delicate ways. He would 
ask me upstairs to his room to describe or show him the 
results of any little investigation I might have made : taking 
the greatest interest in it all, his pleasure would seem to 
equal and thus heighten mine, and then he would add words 
of kind suggestion and encouragement. In the same kindly 
spirit he has invited me to his house at Hampton Court, 
or would ask me to join him at supper after the Friday 
evening's lecture. His kindness is further shown by his 
giving me a volume of his researches on Chemistry and 
Physics, writing therein, ' From his friend Michael Faraday.' 
Those who live alone in London, unknown and uncared-for 
by any around them, can best appreciate these marks of 
attention which Mr. Faraday invariably showed, and not 
only to myself, but equally to my fellow-assistant in the 
chemical laboratory." 

The following instance among many that might be quoted 
will illustrate his readiness to take trouble on behalf of 
others. When Dr. Noad was writing his " Manual of Elec- 
tricity," a doubt crossed his mind as to whether Sir Snow 
Harris's unit jar gave a true measure of the quantity of 
electricity thrown into a Leyden jar : he asked Faraday, and 
his doubt was confirmed. Shortly afterwards he received 
a letter beginning thus : — 

74 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y [sect. J 

" My dear Sir, 

" Whilst looking over my papers on induction, I 
was reminded of our talk about Harris's unit jar, and 
recollected that I had given you a result just the reverse 
of my old conclusions, and, as I believe, of the truth. I 
think the jar is a true measure, so long as the circumstances 
of position^ &c, are not altered ; for its discharge and the 
quantity of electricity thus passed on depends on the con- 
stant relation of the balls connected with the inner and 
outer surface coating to each other, and is independent of 
their joint relation to the machine, battery, &c. . . . Per- 
haps I have not made my view clear, but next time we 
meet, remind me of the matter. 

" Ever truly yours, 

" M. Faraday." 

And just a week afterwards Dr. Noad received a second 
letter, surmounted by a neat drawing, and describing at great 
length experiments that the Professor had since made in 
order to place the matter beyond doubt. 

And it was not merely for friends and brother savants 
that he would take trouble. Old volumes of the Mechanics' 
Magazine bear testimony to the way in which he was asked 
questions by people in all parts of the kingdom, and that 
he was accustomed to give painstaking answers to such 

"Do to others as you would wish them to do to you," 
was a precept often on his lips. But I have heard that 
he was sometimes charged with transgressing it himself, 
inasmuch as he took an amount of trouble for other people 


which he would have been greatly distressed if they had 
taken for him. 

His charities were very numerous, — not to beggars ; for 
them he had the Mendicity Society's tickets, — but to those 
whose need he knew. The porter of the Royal Institution 
has shown me, among his treasured memorials, a large 
number of forms for post-office orders, for sums vary- 
ing from 5^. to 5/., which Faraday was in the habit of 
sending in that way to different recipients of his thought- 
ful bounty. Two or three instances have come to my 
knowledge of his having given more considerable sums of 
money — say 20/. — to persons who he thought would be 
benefited by them. In some instances the gift was called 
a loan, but he lent "not expecting again," and entered 
into the spirit of the injunction, " When thou doest alms, 
let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." 

This principle was in fact stated in one of his letters to 
a friend : "As a case of distress I shall be very happy to 
help you as far as my means allow me in such cases ; 
but then I never let my name go to such acts, and very 
rarely even the initials of my name." His contributions to 
the general funds of his Church were kept equally secret. 

From all these circumstances, therefore, it is impossible 
to gauge the amount of his charitable gifts ; but when it is 
remembered that for many years his income from different 
sources must have been 1,000/. or 1,200/., that he and 
Mrs. Faraday lived in a simple manner — comfortably, it is 
true, but not luxuriously — and that his whole income was 
disposed of in some way, there can be little doubt that 
his gifts amounted to several hundred pounds per annum. 

76 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

But it was not in monetary gifts alone that his kindness 
to the distressed was shown. Time was spent as freely as 
money ; and an engrossing scientific research would not be 
allowed to stand in the way of his succouring the sorrowful. 
Many persons have told irie of his self-denying deeds on 
behalf of those who were ill, and of his encouraging words. 
He had indeed a heart ever ready to sympathize. Thus 
meeting once in the neighbourhood of Hampton Court an 
old friend who had retired there invalided and was being 
drawn about in a Bath chair, he is said to have burst into 

When eight years ago my wife and my only son were 
taken away together, and I lay ill of the same fatal disease, 
he called at my house, and in spite of remonstrances found 
his way into the infected chamber. He would have taken 
me by the hand if I had allowed him; and then he sat 
a while by my bedside, consoling me with his sympathy and 
cheering me with the Christian hope. 

It is no wonder that this kindliness took the hearts of 
men captive; and this quality was, like mercy, "twice 
blessed; it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes." 
The feeling awakened in the minds of others by this kindli- 
ness was indeed a source of the purest pleasure to himself; 
trifling proofs of interest or love could easily move his 
thankfulness ; and he richly enjoyed the appreciation of his 
scientific labours. This would often break forth in words. 
Thus in the middle of a letter to A. De la Rive, principally 
on scientific matters, he writes : — 

"Do you remember one hot day, I cannot tell how 
many years ago, when I was hot and thirsty in Geneva, 



and you took me to your house in the town and gave me 
a glass of water and raspberry vinegar? That glass of 
drink is refreshing to me still." 

Again : " Tyndall, the sweetest reward of my work is 
the sympathy and good-will which it has caused to flow 
in upon me from all quarters of the world." 

But to estimate rightly this amiability of character, it 
must be distinctly remembered that it was not that super- 
abundance of good-nature which renders some men in- 
capable of holding their own, or rebuking what they know 
to be wrong. In proof of this his letters to the spiritualists 
might be quoted ; but the following have not hitherto seen 
the light. They are addressed to two different parties 
whose inventions came officially before him. 

" You write ' private ' on the outside of your official com- 
munication, and * confidential ' within. I will take care to 
respect these instructions as far as falls within my duty ; but 
I can have nothing private or confidential as regards the 
Trinity House, which is my chief. Whatever opinion I send 
to them I must accompany with the papers you send me. 
If therefore you wish anything held back from them, send 
me another official answer, and I will return you the one 
I have, marked 'confidential/ Our correspondence is 
indeed likely to become a little irregular, because your 
papers have not come to me through the Trinity House. 
You will feel that I cannot communicate any opinion I 
may form to you : I am bound to the Trinity House, to 
whom I must communicate in confidence. I have no 
objection to your knowing my conclusions ; but the Trinity 
House is the fit judge of the use it may make of them, or 

78 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. j 

■ ■ ■ i 


the degree of confidence they may think they deserve, or 

the parties to whom they may choose to communicate them." 

By a foot-note it appears that the private and confidential 

communication was returned to the writer, by desire, four 

days afterwards. 

" Sir, 

" I have received your note and read your pam- 
phlet. There is nothing in either which makes it at all 
desirable to me to see your apparatus, for I have not time 
to spare to look at a matter two or three times over. In 

referring to , I suppose you refer also to his application 

to the Trinity House. In that case I shall hear from him 
through the Trinity House, He has, however, certain in- 
quiries (which I have no doubt have gone to him long ago 
through the Trinity House) to answer before I shall think it 
necessary to take any further steps in the matter. With 
these, however, I suppose you have nothing to do. 

" Are you aware that many years ago our Institution was 
lighted up for months, if not for years together, by oil-gas 
(or, as you call it, defiant gas), compressed into cylinders 
to the extent of thirty atmospheres, and brought to us from 
a distance ? I have no idea that the patent referred to at 
the bottom of page 9 could stand for an hour in a court of 
law. I think, too, you are wrong in misapplying the word • 
olefiant It already belongs to a particular gas, and cannot, 
without confusion, be used as you use it 

"lam Sir, 

" Your obedient Servant* 

" M. Faraday." 


" Sir, 

" Thanks for your letter. At the close of it you 

ask me privately and confidingly for the encouragement my 

opinion might give you if this power gas-light is fit for 

lighthouses. I am unable to assent to your request, as my 

position at the Trinity House requires that I should be able 

to take up any subject, applications, or documents they 

may bring before me in a perfectly unbiassed condition 

of mind. "I am, Sir, 

" Yours very truly, 

" M. Faraday." 

The kindliness which shed its genial radiance on every 
worthy object around, glowed most warmly on the domestic 
hearth. Little expressions in his writings often reveal it, as 
when we read in his Swiss journal about Interlaken : " Clout- 
nail making goes on here rather considerably, and is a very 
neat and pretty operation to observe. I love a smith's shop, 
and anything relating to smithery. My father was a smith." 

When he was sitting to Noble for his bust, it happened 
one day that the sculptor, in giving the finishing touches to 
the marble, made a clattering with his chisels : noticing that 
his sitter appeared distrait, he said that he feared the 
jingling of the tools had annoyed him, and that he was 
weary. " No, my dear Mr. Noble," said Faraday, putting 
his hand on his shoulder, " but the noise reminded me of 
my father's anvil, and took me back to my boyhood." 

This deep affection peeps out constantly in his letters to 
different members of his family, "bound up together," as 
he wrote to his sister-in-law, " in the one hope, and in faith 

8o MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. y 


and love which is in Jesus Christ." But it was towards his 
wife that his love glowed most intensely. Yet how can we 
properly speak of this sacred relationship, especially as the 
mourning widow is still amongst us? It may suffice to 
catch the glimpse that is reflected in the following extract 
from a letter he wrote to Mrs. Andrew Crosse on the death 
of her husband : — 

"July 12, 1855. 

" . . . . Believe that I sympathize with you most deeply, 
for I enjoy in my life-partner those things which you speak 
of as making you feel your loss so heavily. 

" It is the kindly domestic affections, the worthiness, the 
mutual aid in sorrow, the mutual joy in happiness that has 
existed, which makes the rupture of such a tie as yours so 
heavy to bear; and yet you would not wish it otherwise, 
for the remembrance of those things brings solace with the 
grief. I speak, thinking what my own trouble would be if 
I lost my partner ; and I try to comfort you in the only way 
in which I think I could be comforted. 

" M. Faraday." 

There was, as Tyndall has observed, a mixture of chivalry 
with this affection. In his book of diplomas' he made the 
following remarkable entry : — 

" 25/A January >, 1847. 

"Amongst these records and events, I here insert the 
date of one which, as a source of honour and happiness, 
far exceeds all the rest We were married on June 12, 

" M. Faraday." 


On the character of Faraday, these two qualities of 
reverence and kindliness have appeared to me singularly 
influential. Among the ways in which they manifested 
themselves was that beautiful combination of firmness and 
gentleness which has been frequently remarked : intimately 
associated with them also were his simplicity and truthful- 
ness. These points must have made themselves evident 
already, but they deserve further illustration. 

In his early days, "one Sabbath morning his swift and 
sober steps were carrying him along the Holborn pave- 
ment towards his meeting-house, when some small missile 
struck him smartly on the hat He would have thought it 
an accident and passed on, when a second and a third rap 
caused him to turn and look just in time to perceive a face 
hastily withdrawn from a window in the upper story of a 
closed linendraper's establishment. Roused by the affront, 
he marched up to the door and rapped. The servant 
opening it said, there was no one at home, but Faraday 
declared he knew better, and desired to be shown upstairs. 
Opposition still being made, he pushed on, made his way 
up through the house, opened the door of an upper room, 
discovering a party of young drapers' assistants, who at once 
professed they knew nothing of the motive of this sudden 
visit. But the hunter had now run his game to earth : he 
taxed them sharply with their annoyance of wayfarers on the 
Sabbath, and said that unless an apology were made at once, 
they should hear from their employer of something much 
to their disadvantage. An apology was made forthwith. " l 

1 For this anecdote, and some others in inverted commas, I am in- 
debted to Mr. Frank Barnard. 

82 MICHAEL FAR AD A K [sect. 

Long, long after this event, Dr. and Mrs. Faraday, with 
Dr. Tyndail, were returning one evening from Mr. Gassiot's, 
on Clapham Common : a dense fog came on, and they did 
not know where they were. The two gentlemen got out of 
their vehicle, and walked to a house and knocked. A man 
appeared, first at a window and afterwards at the door, very 
angry indeed at the disturbance, and demanded to know 
their business. Faraday, in his calm, irresistible manner, 
explained the situation and their object in knocking. The 
man instantly changed his tone, looked foolish, and mut- 
tered something about being in a fright lest his house of 
business was on fire. 

As to simplicity of character: when, in the course of 
writing this book, I have spoken to his acquaintances about 
Faraday, the most frequent comment has been in such 
words as, " Oh ! he was a beautiful character, and so simple- 
minded." I have tried to ascertain the cause of this simple- 
mindedness, and I believe it was the consciousness that he 
was meaning to do right himself, and the belief that others 
whom he addressed meant to do right too, and so he 
could just let them see everything that was passing through 
his mind. And while he knew no reason for concealment, 


there was no trace of self-conceit about him, nor any pre- 
tence at being what he was not. To illustrate this quality is 
not so easy; the indications of it, like his humour, were 
generally too delicate to be transferred to paper; but perhaps 
the following letter will do as well as anything else, for 
there are few philosophers who could have written so 
naturally about the pleasures of a pantomime and then 
about his highest hopes ; — 



"Royal Institution, London, W. 
1st January, 1857. 

"My dear Miss Coutts, 

" You are very kind to think of our pleasure and 
send us entrance to your box for to-morrow night. We 
thank you very sincerely, and I mean to enjoy it, for I still 
have a sympathy with children and all their thoughts and 
pleasure. Permit me to wish you very sincerely a happy 
year; and also to Mrs. Brown. With some of us our 
greatest happiness will be content mingled with patience ; 
but there is much happiness in that and the expected end. 

" Ever your obliged Servant, 

" M. Faraday." 1 

As to truthfulness : he was not only truthful in the com- 
mon acceptation of the word, but he did not allow, either in 
himself or others, hasty conclusions, random assertions, or 
slippery logic " At such times he had a way of repeating 
the suspicious statement very slowly and distinctly, with an 
air of wondering scrutiny as if it had astonished him. His 
irony, was then irresistible, and always produced a modifica- 
tion of the objectionable phrase." 

One Friday evening there was exhibited an improved 
Davy lamp, with an eulogistic description. Faraday added 
the words, " The opinion of the inventor." 

"An acquaintance rather given to inflict tedious narratives 

1 In another letter that Lady Bordett Coutts has kindly sent me, 
Faraday says : " We had your box once before, I remember, for a panto- 
mime, which is always interesting to me because of the immense con- 
centration of means which it requires." In a third he makes admiring 
comments on Fechter. 

O 2 



84 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

on his friends was descanting to Faraday on the iniquity of 
some coachman who had set him down the previous night 
in the middle of a dark and miry road, — 'in fact,' said the 
irksome drawler, ' in a perfect morass ; and there I was, as 
you may imagine, half the night, plunging and struggling to 
get out of this dreadful morass/ * More ass you ! ' rapped 
out the philosopher at the top of his scale of laughter." 
This was a rare instance, for it was only when much 
provoked that he would perpetrate a pun, or depart from 
the kind courtesy of his habitual talk. 

That he was quite ready to give up a statement or view 
when it was proved by others to be incorrect, is shown by 
the Preface to the volumes in which are reprinted his 
" Experimental Researches." " In giving advice," says his 
niece Miss Reid, " he always went back to first principles, 
to the true right and wrong of questions, never allowing 
deviations from the simple straightforward path of duty to 
be justified by custom or precedent ; and he judged himself 
strictly by the same rule which he laid down for others." 

These beauties of character were not marred by serious 
defects or opposing faults. " He could not be too closely 
approached. There were no shabby places or ugly corners 
in his mind." Yet he was very far from being one of those 
passionless men who resemble a cold statue rather than 
throbbing flesh and blood. He was no " model of all the 
virtues," dreadfully uninteresting, and discouraging to those 
who feel such calm perfection out of their reach. His 
inner life was a battle, with its wounds as well as its 
victory. Proud by nature, and quick-tempered, he must 
have found the curb often necessary ; but notwithstanding 


the rapidity of his actions and thoughts, he knew how to 
keep a tight rein on that fiery spirit. 

I have listened attentively to every remark in disparage- 
ment of Faraday's character, but the only serious ones 
have appeared to me to arise from a misunderstanding of 
the man, a misunderstanding the more easy because his 
standard of right and wrong, and of his own duty, often dif- 
fered from the notions current around him. Still, it may be 
true that his extreme sensitiveness led him sometimes to do 
scant justice to those who, he imagined, were treading too 
closely in his own footsteps ; as, for instance, when Nobili 
brought out some beautiful experiments on magnetism, just 
after the short notice of his own discoveries in 1831 which 
•Faraday had sent to M. Hachette, and which was com- 
municated to the Academic des Sciences. It is true also 
that, with his great caution and his repugnance to moral 
evil, he was more disposed to turn away in disgust from an 
erring companion than to endeavour to reclaim him. It 
has also been imputed to him as a fault that he founded no 
school, and took no young man by the hand as Davy had 
taken him. That this was rather his misfortune than his 
fault, would appear from words he once wrote to Miss 
Moore : " I have often endeavoured to discover a genius, 
but have not been very successful, though many cases 
seemed promising at first." The world would doubtless 
have been the gainer if he had stamped his own image on 
the minds of a group of disciples : but a man cannot do 
everything ; and had Faraday been more of a teacher, he 
would perhaps have been less of an investigator. 

Of course Faraday was subject, like other men, to errors 



/of judgment, and it was impossible, even if desirable, 
" always to avoid giving offence. v Thus he was constantly 
pestered for his autograph; and instead of throwing the 
applications into his waste-paper basket, he had a formal 
circular lithographed excusing himself from complying. 
This offended more than one recipient ; and he was roughly 
made aware of it by once having the circular returned 
from St. Louis with a scurrilous comment, and the postage 
from America not prepaid. He never again used the printed 
form, Miss Barnard undertaking to answer all such requests. 
It has been previously remarked that Faraday took little 
part in social movements, and went little into society, but it 
must not be supposed that he was by any means unsocial. 
It seems probable that his freedom in this matter was 
somewhat hampered by the principles in which he had been 
brought up : it is certain that he was restrained by the 
desire to give all the time and energy he could to scientific 
research. Yet pleasant stories are told of his occasional 
appearances at social gatherings. Thus he liked to attend 
the Royal Academy dinners, and in earlier days he enjoyed 
the artistic and musical conversaziones at Hullmanders, 
where Stanfield Turner and Landseer met; Garcia and 
Malibran ; and sometimes he joined this pleasant company 
at supper and charades, at others in their excursions up the 
river in an eight-oared cutter. Captain Close has described 
to me how, when the French Lighthouse authorities put up 
the screw-pile light on the sands near Calais, they invited 
the Trinity House officers and Faraday to inspect it A 
dinner was arranged for them after the inspection, and M. 
Reynaud proposed the health of the Uranger celebre. A 


young engineer took exception to Faraday being called a 
stranger — since he had been at St. Cyr he had known the 
great Englishman well by his works. The Professor replied 
to the compliment in the language of his hosts, with a few 
of his happy and kindly remarks. A gentleman high in the 
diplomatic service, who was present, remarked that Faraday 
had said many things which were not French, but not a 
word which ought not to be so. 

More unrestricted was Faraday's sympathy with Nature. 
He felt the poetry of the changing seasons, but there were 
two aspects of Nature that especially seemed to claim com- 
munion with his spirit : he delighted in a thunderstorm, 
and he experienced a pleasurable sadness as the orange 
sunset faded into the evening twilight There are other 
minds to which both these sensations are familiar, but they 
seem to have been felt with great intensity by him. No 
doubt his electrical knowledge added much to his interest 
in the grand discharges from the thunder-clouds, but it will 
hardly account for his standing long at a window watching 
the vivid flashes, a stranger to fear, with his mind full of 
lofty thoughts, or perhaps of high communings. Some- 
times, too, if the storm was at a little distance, he would 
summon a cab, and, in spite of the pelting rain, drive to 
the scene of awful beauty. 

On a clear starry night Captain Close quoted to him the 
words of Lorenzo in the " Merchant of Venice : " — 

" Look, how the floor of heaven 

Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold ; 
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st, 
But in his motion like an angel sings, 

88 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. '* 

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins : 
Such harmony is in immortal souls ; 
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay 
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it." 

Faraday, who happened not to be familiar with the 
passage, made his friend repeat it over and over again as 
he drank in the whole meaning o£ the poetry, for there is a 
true sense in which no other mortal had ever opened his 
ears so fully to the harmony of the universe. 

From the plains of mental mediocrity there occasionally 
rise the mountains of genius, . and from the dead level of 
selfish respectability there stand out now and then the peaks 
of moral greatness. Neither kind of excellence is so common 
as we could wish it, and it is a rare coincidence when, 
as in Socrates, the two meet in the same individual. In 
Faraday we have a modern instance. There are persons 
now living who watched this man of strong will and intense 
feelings raising himself from the lower ranks of society, yet 
without losing his balance ; rather growing in simplicity, 
disinterestedness, and humility, as princes became his cor- 
respondents and all the learned bodies of the world vied 
with each other to do him homage ; still finding his greatest 
happiness at home, though reigning in the affections of all 
his fellows, — loving every honest man, however divergent in 
opinion, and loved most by those who knew him best. 

This is the phenomenon. By what theory is it to be 
accounted for? 

The secret did not lie in the nature of his pursuits. This 
cannot be better shown than in the following incident fur- 
nished me by Mrs. Crosse : — " One morning, a few months 


after we were married, my husband took me to the Royal 
Institution to call on Mr. and Mrs. Faraday. I had not 
seen the laboratory there, and the philosopher very kindly 
took us over the Institution, explaining for my information 
many objects of interest. His great vivacity and cheeriness 
of manner surprised me in a man who devoted his life to 
such abstruse studies, but I have since learnt to know that 
the highest philosophical nature is often, indeed generally, 
united with an almost childlike simplicity. 

"After viewing the ample appliances for experimental 
research, and feeling impressed by the scientific atmosphere 
of the place, I turned and said, ' Mr. Faraday, you must be 
very happy in your position and with your pursuits, which 
elevate you entirely out of the meaner aspects and lower 
aims of common life/ 

" He shook his head, and with that wonderful mobility 
of countenance which was characteristic, his expression of 
joyousness changed to one of profound sadness, he re- 
plied : ' When I quitted business, and took to science as 
a career, I thought I had left behind me all the petty mean- 
nesses and small jealousies which hinder man in his moral 
progress ; but I found myself raised into another sphere, 
only to find poor human nature just the same everywhere — 
subject to the same weaknesses and the same self-seeking, 
however exalted the intellect/ 

" These were his words as well as I can recollect ; and, 
looking at that good and great man, I thought I had never 
seen a countenance which so impressed me with the cha- 
racteristic of perfect unworldliness. We know how his 
life proved that this rare qualification was indeed his." 

90 MICHAEL FAR AD A K [sect. . 

" Childlike simplicity : " " unworldliness." Where was 
the tree rooted that bore such beautiful blossoms ? Faraday 
had learnt in the school of Christ to become " a little child," 
and he loved not the world because the love of the Father 
was in him. 

We have a charming glimpse of this in an extract which 
Professor Tyndall has given from an old paper in which he 
wrote his impressions after one of his earliest dinners with 
the philosopher : — " At two o'clock he came down for me. 
He, his niece, and myself formed the party. ' I never give 
dinners,' he said ; ' I don't know how to give dinners ; and 
I never dine out. But I should not like my friends to 
attribute this to a wrong cause. I act thus for the sake of 
securing time for work, and not through religious motives 
as some imagine.' He said grace. I am almost ashamed 
to call his prayer a ' saying ' of grace. In the language of 
Scripture, it might be described as the petition of a son into 
whose heart God had sent the Spirit of His Son, and who 
with absolute trust asked a blessing from his father. We 
dined on roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes, drank 
sherry, talked of research and its requirements, and of his 
habit of keeping himself free from the distractions of society. 
He was bright and joyful — boylike, in fact, though he is 
now sixty-two. His work excites admiration, but contact 
with him warms and elevates the heart. Here, surely, is 
a strong man. I love strength, but let me not forget the 
example of its union with modesty, tenderness, and 
sweetness, in the character of Faraday." 

But his religion deserves a closer attention. When an 
errand-boy, we find him hurrying the delivery of his news- 


papers on a Sunday morning so as to get home in time to 
make himself neat to go with his parents to chapel : his 
letters when abroad indicate the same disposition; yet he 
did not make any formal profession of his faith till a month 
after his marriage, when nearly thirty years of age. Of his 
spiritual history up to that period little is known, but there 
seem to be good grounds for believing that he did not accept 
the religion of his fathers without a conscientious inquiry 
into its truth. It would be difficult to conceive of his 
acting otherwise. But after he joined the Sandemanian 
Church, his questionings were probably confined to matters 
of practical duty ; and to those who knew him best nothing 
could appear stronger than his conviction of the reality of 
the things he believed. In order to understand the life and 
character of Faraday, it is necessary to bear in mind not 
merely that he was a Christian, but that he was a Sande- 
manian. From his earliest years that religious system 
stamped its impress deeply on his mind, it surrounded 
the blacksmith's son with an atmosphere of unusual purity 
and refinement, it developed the unselfishness of his nature, 
and in his after career it fenced his life from the worldliness 
around, as well as from much that is esteemed as good by 
other Christian bodies. To this small self-contained sect 
he clung with warm attachment ; he was precluded from 
Christian communion or work outside their circle, but his 
sympathies at least burst all narrow bounds. Thus the 
Abbe* Moigno tells us that at Faraday's request he one day 
introduced him to Cardinal Wiseman. The interview was 
very cordial, and his Eminence did not hesitate frankly and 
good-naturedly to ask Faraday i£ in his deepest conviction, 

92 MICHAEL FAR AD A Y. [sect. 

— — * 

he believed all the Church of Christ, holy, catholic, and 
apostolical, was shut up in the little sect in which he bore 
rule. " Oh no ! n was the reply ; " but I do believe from 
the bottom of my soul that Christ is with us." There 
were other points, too, in his character which reflected the 
colouring of the religious school to which he belonged. 
Thus, while humility is inseparable from a Christian life, 
there is a special phase of that virtue bred of those doctrines 
which teach that all our righteousness must be the unmerited 
gift of another : these doctrines are strongly insisted upon in 
the Sandemanian Church, and this humility was acquired in 
an intense degree by its minister. Again, while all Christians 
deplore the terrible amount of folly and sin in the world, 
most recognize also a large amount of good, and believe in 
progressive improvement ; but small communities are apt to 
take gloomy views, and so did Faraday, notwithstanding his 
personal happiness, and his firm conviction that " there is 
One above who worketh in all things, and who governs even 
in the midst of that misrule to which the tendencies and 
powers of men are so easily perverted." 

In writing to Professor Schonbein and a few other kin- 
dred spirits he would turn naturally enough from scientific 
to religious thoughts, and back again to natural philosophy, 
but he generally kept these two departments of his mental 
activity strangely distinct ; yet of course it was well known 
that the Professor at Albemarle Street was one of that 
long line pf scientific men, beginning with the savants of 
the East, who have brought to the Redeemer the gold, 
frankincense, and myrrh of their adoration. 

But the peculiar features of Faraday's spiritual life are 


matters of minor importance : the genuineness of his 
religious character is acknowledged by all. We* have 
admired his faithfulness, his amiability of disposition, and 
his love of justice and truth ; how* far these qualities were 
natural gifts, like his clearness of intellect, we cannot 
precisely tell ; but that he exercised constant self-control 
without becoming hard, ascended the pathway of fame 
without ever losing his balance, and shed around himself 
a peculiar halo of love and joyousness, must be attributed , 
in no small degree to a heart at peace with God, and to 
the consciousness of a higher life. 





Those who loved Faraday would treasure every word that 
he wrote,, and to them the life and letters which Bence 
Jones has : . given to the world will . be inestimable ; but 
from the multitude who knew him only at a distance, we 
can expect no enthusiasm of admiration. Yet all will 
readily believe that through the writings of such a genius 
there must be scattered nuggets of intellectual gold, even 
when he is not treating directly of scientific subjects. 
Some of these relate to questions of permanent interest, 
and such nuggets it is my aim to separate and lay before 
the reader. 

When quite a young man he drew the following ideal 
portrait : — " The philosopher should be a man willing to 
listen to every suggestion, but determined to judge for him- 
self He should not be biassed by appearances, have no 
favourite hypothesis, be of no school, and in doctrine have 
no master. He should not be a respecter of persons, but 
of things. Truth should be his primary object. If to 
these qualities be added industry, he may indeed hope to 
walk within the veil of the temple of Nature." This ideal 


he must steadily have kept before him, and not un- 
frequently in after days he gave utterance to similar 
thoughts. Here are two instances, the' -first a lecture 
thirty years afterwards, the second from a' private letter : — 
"We may be sure of facts, but. our interpretation of facts 
we should doubt. He is the wisest philosopher who holds 
his theory with some doubt ; who is able to proportion his 
judgment and confidence to the value of the evidence set 
before him, taking a fact for a fact, and a supposition for 
a supposition; as much as possible keeping his mind free 
from all source of prejudice, or, where he cannot do this 
(as in the case of a theory), remembering that such a source 
is there." The letter is to Mr. Frederick Field, and relates 
to a paper on the existence of silver in the water of the 

"Royal Institution, 21st October, 1856. 
" My dear Sir, 

"Your paper looks so well, that though I am of 

course unable to become security for the facts, I have 

still thought it my duty to send it to the Royal Society. 

Whether it will appear there or not I- cannot say, — no one 

can say even for his own papers ; but for my part, I think 

that as facts are the foundation of science, however they 

may be interpreted, so they are most valuable, and often 

more so than the interpretations founded upon them. I 

hope your, further researches will confirm those you have 

obtained : but I would not be too hasty with them, — rather 

wait a while, and make them quite secure. 

" I am, Sir, your obliged Servant, 

" M. Faraday." 


96 MICHAEL FARAD A V. [sect. 

How pleasant it would have been to peep into his mind* 
and watch the process by which he was transformed into 
the very image of his ideal philosopher ! He has partially 
told us the secret in two remarkable lectures, one of which 
was delivered before the City Philosophical Society when 
he was only twenty-seven years of age, while the other 
formed part of a series on Education at Albemarle Street 
Copious extracts from the first are given by Dr. Bence 
Jones ; the second was published at the time. In the early 
lecture, which is " On the Forms of 'Matter," he points out 
the advantages and dangers of systematizing, and winds up 
his remarks with — 

" Nothing is more difficult and requires more care than 
philosophical deduction, nor is there anything more adverse 
to its accuracy than fixidity of opinion. The man who is 
certain he is right is almost sure to be wrong, and he has 
the additional misfortune of inevitably remaining so. All 
our theories are fixed upon uncertain data, and all of them 
want alteration and support. Ever since the world began 
opinion has changed with the progress of things ; and it is 
something more than absurd to suppose that we have a 
sure claim to perfection, or that we are in possession of the 
highest stretch of intellect which has or can result from 
human thought. .Why our successors should not displace 
us in our opinions, as well as in our persons, it is difficult 
to say; it ever has been so, and from analogy would be 
supposed to continue so ; and yet, with all this practical 
evidence of the fallibility of our opinions, all, and none 
more than philosophers, are ready to assert the real truth 
of their opinions." 


. 1 I. ' — — ■ — ■ 

In his discourse entitled "Observations on Mental 
Education," like a skilful physician he first determines what 
is the great intellectual disease from which the community 
suffers — " deficiency of judgment," — and then he lays down 
rules by which each man may attempt his own cure. For 
this self-education, " it is necessary that a man examine 
himself, and that not carelessly. ... A first result of this 
habit of mind will be an internal conviction of ignorance in 
many things respecting which his neighbours are taught ', and 
that his opinions and conclusions on such matters ought to 
be advanced with reservation. A mind so disciplined will 
be open to correction upon good grounds in all things, even in 
those it is best acquainted with; and should familiarize 
itself with the idea of such being the case. ... It is right 
that we should stand by and act on our principles, but not 
right to hold them in obstinate blindness, or retain them 
when proved to be erroneous." And then he gives cases 
from his own mental history : — " I remember the time when 
I believed a spark was produced between voltaic metals as 
they approached to contact (and the reasons why it might 
be possible yet remain); but others doubted the fact and 
denied the proofs, and on re -examination I found reason 
to admit their corrections were well founded. Years ago 
I believed that electrolites could conduct electricity by a 
conduction proper; that has also been denied by many 
through long time : though I believed myself right, yet 
circumstances have induced me to pay that respect to 
criticism as to re-investigate the subject, and I have the 
pleasure of thinking that nature confirms my original 
conclusions. So, though evidence may appear to pre- 


98 MICHAEL FAR AD A K [sect. 

— ^ —~ ii ■ i ^— — »»— ^— »— ■ » 

ponderate extremely in favour of a certain decision, it is 
wise and proper to hear a counter-statement. You can 
have no idea how often, and how much, under such an im- 
pression, I have desired that the marvellous descriptions 
which have reached me might prove, in some points, cor- 
rect ; and how frequently I have submitted myself to hot 
fires, to friction with magnets, to the passes of hands, &c, 
lest I should be shutting out discovery; — encouraging the 
strong desire that something might be true, and that I 
might aid in the development of a new force of nature." 
He turns then to another evil, and its cure : " The tendency 
to deceive ourselves regarding all we wish for, and the 
necessity of resistance to these desires; .... the force of the 
temptation which urges us to seek for such evidence and 
appearances as are in favour of our desires, and to dis- 
regard those which oppose them, is wonderfully great In 
this respect we are all, more or less, active promoters of 
error." He winds up his remarks upon this subject with 
the italicized sentence : " I will simply express my strong 
belief that that point of self-education which consists in 
teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations until 
they are proved to be right, is the most important of all, 
not only in things of natural philosophy, but in every de- 
partment of daily life." He turns then to the necessity of 
a " habit of forming clear and precise ideas," and of ex- 
pressing them in " clear and definite language : " — " When 
the different data required are in our possession, and we 
have succeeded in forming a clear idea of each, the mind 
should be instructed to balance them one against another, 
and not suffered carelessly to hasten to a conclusion." " As 


■■ ■ ■■ ■ 1 

a result of this wholesome mental condition, we should be 
able to form a proportionate judgment; " that is, one propor- 
tionate to the evidence, ranging through all degrees of pro- 
bability — while he adds : " Frequently the exercise of the 
judgment ought to end in absolute reservation? 

"The education which I advocate," says Faraday, "will 
require patience and labour of thought in every exercise 
tending to improve the judgment It matters not on what 
subject a person's mind is occupied ; he should engage in 
it with the conviction that it will require mental labour." 
" Because the education is internal, it is not the less need- 
ful ; nor is it more the duty of a man that he should cause 
his child to be taught, than that he should teach himself. 
Indolence may tempt him to neglect the self-examination 
and experience which form his school, and weariness may 
induce the evasion of the necessary practices ; but surely a 
thought of the prize should suffice to stimulate him to the 
requisite exertion ; and to those who reflect upon the many 
hours and days devoted by a lover of sweet sounds to gain 
a moderate facility upon a mere mechanical instrument, it 
ought to bring a correcting blush of shame if they feel 
convicted of neglecting the beautiful living instrument 
wherein play all the powers of the mind.' 

At the commencement of this discourse the lecturer 
felt called upon to limit the range of his remarks : — " High 
as man is placed above the creatures around him, there is a 
higher and far more exalted position within his view; and 
the ways are infinite in which he occupies his thoughts 
about the fears, or hopes, or expectations of a future life. 
I believe that the truth of that future cannot be brought to 

H 2 

ioo MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

his knowledge by any exertion of his mental powers, how- 
ever exalted they may be ; that it is made known to him by 
other teaching than his own, and is received through simple 
belief of the testimony given. Let no one suppose for a 
moment that the self-education I am about to commend 
in respect of the things of this life extends to any consi- 
derations of the hope set before us, as if man by reasoning 
could find out God. It would be improper here to enter 
upon this subject further than to claim an absolute dis- 
tinction between religious and ordinary belief. I shall be 
reproached with the weakness of refusing to apply those 
mental operations which I think good in respect of high 
things to the very highest. I am content to bear the 
reproach. Yet, even in earthly matters, I believe that ' the 
invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are 
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even His eternal power and Godhead ; ' and I have never < 
seen anything incompatible between those things of man 
which can be known by the spirit of man which is within 
him, and those higher things concerning his future which he 
cannot know by that spirit." There is of course a certain 
truth in this passage; spiritual discernment is a real thing 
possessed by some, and not by others; yet is there this 
* absolute distinction between religious and ordinary belief? 
Surely there is the same opportunity and the same neces- 
sity for careful judgment, and for resistance to prejudice or 
preference, when we are weighing the credentials of any- 
thing that may come before us purporting to be a revelation 
from above; surely too, if we have satisfied ourselves that 
we possess such a revelation, we must seek for the same 


clearness of ideas, arid must exercise the same patience and 
labour of thought, if we would understand it aright. That 
mental discipline which fits us to interpret the works of 
God cannot but be akin to the intellectual training required 
for interpreting His word. 

Since Faraday thought and wrote, the question of public 
education has taken a far deeper hold on the feelings and 
the hopes of the nation, and it is not merely the extent of 
the instruction, but its nature also, that is discussed. It is 
held to be no longer right that the minds of our youth 
should be fed almost exclusively on the dry husks of classic 
or mediaeval knowledge, while the rich banquet of modern 
discovery remains untasted. Yet it is hard for natural 
science to gain an honoured place in our venerable scho- 
lastic institutions. Faraday, however, had long formed his 
conclusions on this subject. In one of his Friday evening 
discourses he says : " The development of the applications 
of physical science in modern times has become so large and 
so essential to the well-being of man, that it may justly be 
used as illustrating the true character of pure science as a 
department of knowledge, and -the claims it may have for 
consideration by Governments, Universities, and all bodies 
to whom is confided the fostering care and direction of 
learning. As a branch of learning, men are beginning to 
recognize the right of science to its own particular place ; 
for, though flowing in channels utterly different in their 
course and end from those of literature, it conduces not 
less, as a means of instruction, to the discipline of the 
mind, whilst it ministers, more or less, to the wants, 
comforts, and proper pleasure, both mental and bodily, of 

102 MICHAEL FAR ADA Y. [sect. 



every individual of every class in life. Until of late years, 
the education for, and recognition of it by the bodies 
which may be considered as governing the general course 
of all education, have been chiefly directed to it only as 
it could serve professional services, viz. those which are 
remunerated by society ; but now the fitness of university 
degrees in science is under consideration, and many are 
taking a high view of it, as distinguished from literature, 
and think that it may well be studied for its own sake, i.e. 
as a proper exercise of the human intelligence, able to 
bring into action and development all the powers of the 
mind. As a branch of learning, it has (without reference 
to its applications) become as extensive and varied as 
literature ; and it has this privilege, that it must ever go on 

On the subject of scientific education Faraday was 
examined by the Public Schools Commission, November 
1 8th, 1862, and his sentiments of course appear in their 
report. He said to them : " That the natural knowledge 
which has been given to the world in such abundance 
during the last fifty years should remain untouched, and that 
no sufficient attempt should be made to convey it to the 
young mind growing up and obtaining its first views of 
those things, is to me a matter so strange that I find it 
difficult to understand. Though I think I see the oppo- 
sition breaking away, it is yet a very hard one to overcome. 
That it ought to be overcome I have not the least doubt in 
the world." Lord Clarendon asked him : " You think it is 
now knocking at the door, and there is a prospect of the 
door being opened?" "Yes," answered Faraday, "and it 


will make its way, or we shall stay behind other nations in 
our mode of education." He had been led to the con- 
viction that the exclusive attention to literary studies created 
a tendency to regard other things as nonsense, or belonging 
only to the artisan, and so the mind is positively injured for 
the reception of real knowledge. He says: "It is the 
highly educated man that we find coming to us again and 
again, and asking the most simple question in chemistry or 
mechanics; and when we speak of such things as the 
conservation of force, the permanency of matter, and the 
unchangeability of the laws of nature, they are far from 
comprehending them, though they have relation to us in 
every action of our lives. Many of these instructed persons 
are as far from having the power of judging of these things 
as if their minds had never been trained. " 

He gives his own opinion as to the precise course to be 
pursued with great diffidence; but it is evident that he 
would begin the education in natural science at a pretty 
early age, and in all cases carry it up to a certain point 
One-fifth of a boy's time might be devoted to this purpose 
at present, though in less than half a century he thinks 
science will deserve and obtain a far larger share. Sup- 
posing a boy of eleven years of age and of ordinary intel- 
ligence at one of our public schools : " I would teach him," 
he says, " all those things that come before classics in the 
programme of the London University, — mechanics, hydro- 
statics, hydraulics, pneumatics, acoustics, and optics. They 
are very simple and easily understood when they are looked 
at with attention by both man and boy. With a candle, a 
lamp, and a lens or two, an intelligent instructor might teach 

104 MICHAEL FARADA K [sect. 

optics in a very short time ; and so with chemistry. I 
should desire all these." Much would depend on the com- 
petency and earnestness of the teacher. " Good lectures 
might do a great deal. They would at all events remove 
the absolute ignorance which sometimes now appears, but 
would give a very poor knowledge of natural things." 

Perhaps these opinions of one whose lips are now silent 
will yet have their weight in the discussion of this question 
both in our highest seats of learning and in those educa- 
tional parliaments which have been lately called into exist- 
ence in almost every town and district of our country. 

From the somewhat disparaging remarks about lectures 
quoted above, it must not be supposed that this prince 
of lecturers depreciated his office. "Lectures," he said, 
" depend entirely for their value upon the manner in which 
they are given. It is not the matter, it is not the subject, 
so much as the man ; but if he is not competent, and does 
not feel that there is a need of competency, to convey his 
ideas gently and quietly and simply to the young mind, he 
simply throws up obstacles, and will be found using words 
which they will not comprehend." These were the words of 
his later days, but fortunately he felt "the need of com- 
petency" before his own habits were formed, and in four 
letters to Abbott we find wonderfully sagacious observations 
on the matter, which it would be well for any young lec- 
turer to study. He describes the proper arrangement of a 
lecture-room, dwelling on the necessity of good ventilation ; 
and then, having considered the fittest subjects for popular 
lectures, he turns to the character of the audience, and shows 
how that must be studW; for some expect to be entertained 


if S\ 


by the manner of the lecturer as well as his subject, while 
others care for something which will instruct. He dwells on 
the superiority of the eye over the ear as a channel of 
knowledge, and lays down some rules for this kind of in- 
struction, which he of all men subsequently carried out to 
perfection. " Apparatus is an essential part of every lecture 
in which it can be introduced. . . . Diagrams and tables, too, 
are necessary, or at least add in an eminent degree to the 
illustration and perfection of a lecture. When an experimental 
lecture is to be delivered, and apparatus is to be exhibited, r v/V ^f 
some kind of order should be observed in the arrange- 
ment of them on the lecture table. Every particular part 
illustrative of the lecture should be in view ; no one thing 
should hide another from the audience, nor should anything 
stand in the way of or obstruct the lecturer. They should 
be so placed, too, as to produce a kind of uniformity in 
appearance. No one part should appear naked and another 
crowded, unless some particular reason exists and makes it 
necessary to be so. At the same time the whole should be 
so arranged as to keep one operation from interfering with 
another." A good delivery comes in for its share of praise; 
" for though to all true philosophers science and nature will 
have charms innumerable in every dress, yet I am sorry to 
say that the generality of mankind cannot accompany us 
one short hour unless the path is strewed with flowers." 
Then, "a lecturer should appear easy and collected, un- 
daunted and unconcerned, his thoughts about him, and his 
mind clear and free for the contemplation and description 
of his subject. His action should not be hasty and violent, 
but slow, easy, and natural, consisting principally in changes 

io6 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

of the posture of the body, in order to avoid the air of 
stiffness or sameness that would otherwise be unavoidable. 
His whole behaviour should evince respect for his audience, 
and he should in no case forget that he is in their presence." 
He allows a lecturer to prepare his discourse in writing, but 
not to read it before the audience, and points out how 
necessary it is " to raise their interest at the commencement 
of the lecture, and by a series of imperceptible gradations, 
unnoticed by the company, keep it alive as long as the 
subject demands it." This of course forbids breaks in the 
argument, or digressions foreign to the main purpose, and 
limits the length of the lecture to a period during which the 
listeners can pay unwearied attention. He castigates those 
speakers who descend so low as "to angle for claps," or who 
throw out hints for commendation, and shows that apologies 
should be made as seldom as possible. Experiments should 
be to the point, clear, and easily understood : " they should 
rather approach to simplicity, and explain the established 
principles of the subject, than be elaborate and apply to 
minute phenomena only. . . . Tis well, too, when the lec- 
turer has the ready wit and the presence of mind to turn 
any casual circumstance to an illustration of his subject." 
But experiments should be explained by a satisfactory theory ; 
or if the scientific world is divided in opinion, both sides of 
the question ought to be stated with the strongest arguments 
for each, that justice may be done and honour satisfied. 

Often in later days was his experience in lecturing made 
use of for the benefit of others. " !{," he once remarked to 
a young lecturer, " I said to my audience, ' This stone will 
fall to the ground if I open my hand/ I should open my 


hand and let it fall. Take nothing for granted as known ; 
inform the eye at the same time as you address the ear." I 
remember him once giving me hints on the laying of the 
lecture table at the Institution, and telling me that where 
possible he was accustomed to arrange the apparatus in such 
a way as to suggest the order of the experiments. An in- 
cident told me by Dr. Carpenter will illustrate some of the 
foregoing points. The first time he heard Faraday lecture 
at the Royal Institution, the Professor was explaining the 
researches of Melloni on radiant heat. During the discourse 
he touched on the refraction and polarization of heat ; and 
to explain refraction he showed the simple experiment of 
fixing some coloured wafers at the bottom of a basin, and 
then pouring in water so as to make them apparently rise. 
Dr. Carpenter, who had come up from Bristol with grand 
ideas of the lectures at Albemarle Street, wondered greatly 
at the introduction of so commonplace an experiment. Of 
course there were many other illustrations, and beautiful 
ones too. He went down, however, after the lecture, to 
the table, and among the crowd chatting there was an old 
gentleman who remarked, "I think the best experiment 
to-night was that of the wafers in the basin." 

When a young lecturer, Faraday took lessons in elocution 
from Mr. Smart, and was at great pains to cure himself of 
any defect of pronunciation or manner; for this purpose he 
would get a friendly critic to form part of his audience. On 
the fly-leaves of many of the notes of his lectures are 
written the reminders — "Stand up" — "Don't talk quick." 
Indeed, in early days it was so much a matter of anxiety to 
him that everything in his lectures should be as perfect as 

108 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

possible, that he not only was accustomed to go over every- 
thing again and again in his mind, but the difficulty 
of satisfying himself used to trouble his dreams. I was 
told this, if I am not mistaken, by himself; and it goes 
far to explain how his discourses possessed such a fasci- 

Some of his feelings in regard to lecturing may be learnt 
from the following particulars, for which I am indebted to 
Mr. Charles Tomlinson. They relate to a course of lectures 
he delivered in 1849 on Statical Electricity. The first 
lecture began thus : — " Time moves on, and brings changes 
to ourselves as well as to science. I feel that I must soon 
resign into the hands of my successors the position which 
I now occupy at this table. Indeed, I have long felt how 
much rather I would sit among you and be instructed than 
stand here and attempt to instruct. I have always felt my 
position in this Institution as a very strange one. Coming 
after such a man as Davy, and associated with such a man 
as Brande, and having had to make a position for myself, 
I have always felt myself here in a strange position. You 
will wonder why I make these remarks. It is not from any 
affectation of modesty that 1 do so, but I feel that loss of 
memory may soon incapacitate me altogether for my duties. 
Without, however, troubling you more about myself, let us 
proceed to the subject before us, and fall back upon the 
beginnings of the wonderful science of electricity. I shall 
have to trouble you with very little of theory. The facts are 
so wonderful that I shall not attempt to explain them." At 
the second lecture, " Faraday advanced to the table at three 
o'clock, and began to apologize for an obstruction of voice, 


which indeed was painfully evident. He said that, ' in an 
engagement where the contracting parties were one and 
many, the one ought not on any slight ground to break his 
part of the engagement with the many, and therefore, if the 
audience would excuse his imperfect utterance, he would en- 
deavour — * Murmurs arose : ' Put off the lecture.' Faraday 
begged to be allowed to go on. A medical man then 
rose and said he had given it as his opinion that it would 
be dangerous to Dr. Faraday to proceed. Faraday again 
urged his wish to proceed — said it was giving so much 
trouble to the ladies, who had sent away their carriages, and 
perhaps put off other engagements. On this the whole 
audience rose as by a single impulse, and a number of 
persons surrounded Faraday, who now yielded to the general 
desire to spare him the pain and inconvenience of lectur- 
ing." A fortnight elapsed before he could again make his 
appearance, but he continued his course later than usual, 
in order not to deprive his audience of any of the eight 
lectures he had undertaken to give them. Prince Albert 
came to one of these extra lectures. 

Faraday's opinion as to the honours due to scientific men 
from society or from Government, may be gathered from 
the following extract from a letter written me by his 
private friend Mr. Blaikley : — " On one occasion, when 
making some remark in reference to a movement on behalf 
of science, I inadvertently spoke of the proper honour due 
to science. He at once remarked, 'I am not one who 
considers that science can be honoured.' I at once saw 
the point. His views of the grandeur of truth, when once 
apprehended, raised it far beyond any honour that man 



i^— — —^— — , m • ' i ■ i n ■ — — — ^ ^ i ■ 

could give it ; but man might honour himself by respecting 
and acknowledging it" 

Professor George Wilson, of Edinburgh, has thus de- 
scribed his first visit to the philosopher : " Faraday was very 
kind, showed me his whole laboratory with labours going 
on, and talked frankly and kindly ; but to the usual question 
of something to do, gave the usual round O answer, and 
treated me to a just, but not very cheering animadversion 
on the Government of this country, which, unlike that of 
every other civilized country, will give no help to scientific 
inquiry, and will afford no aid or means of study for 
young chemists." 

" Take care of your money," was his advice to Mr. Joule, 
then another young aspirant to scientific honours, but who 
has since rendered the highest service to science, without 
leaning on any hopes of Government help or public support 

But the impressions given in conversation may not be 
always correct Happily there exist his written opinions on 
this subject In a letter addressed to Professor Andrews 
of Belfast, and dated 2nd February, 1843, there occurs this 
passage : — " As to the particular point of your letter about 
which you honour me by asking my advice, I have no 
advice to give ; but I have a strong feeling in the matter, 
and will tell you what I should do. I have always felt that 
there is something degrading in offering rewards for intel- 
lectual exertion, and that societies or academies, or even 
Kings and Emperors, should mingle in the matter does not 
remove the degradation, for the feeling which is hurt is 
a point above their condition, and belongs to the respect 
which a man owes to himself. With this feeling, I have 


never since I was a boy aimed at any such prize ; or even if, 
as in your case, they came near me, have allowed them to 
move me from my course; and I have always contended* 
that such rewards will never move the men who are most 
worthy of reward. Still, I think rewards and honours good 
if properly distributed, but they should be given for what a 
man has done, and not offered for what he is to do, or else 
talent must be considered as a thing marketable and to be 
bought and sold, and then down falls that high tone of 
mind which is the best excitement to a man of power, and 
will make him do more than any commonplace reward. 
When a man is rewarded for his deserts, he honours those 
who grant the reward, and they give it not as a moving 
impulse to him, but to all those who by the reward are led 
to look to that man for an example." 

Eleven years afterwards Faraday expressed similar views, 
but more fully, in a letter to the late Lord Wrottesley as 
chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of the British 
Association : — 

" Royal Institution, March ioih % 1854. 
u My Lord, 

" I feel unfit to give a deliberate opinion on the 

course it might be advisable for the Government to pursue 

if it were anxious to improve the position of science and its 

cultivators in our country. My course of life, and the 

circumstances which make it a happy one for me, are not 

those of persons who conform to the usages and habits of 

society. Through the kindness of all, from my Sovereign 

downwards, I have that which supplies all my need ; and in 

respect of honours, I have, as a scientific man, received 

112 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

from foreign countries and Sovereigns, those which, belong- 
ing to very limited and select classes, surpass in my opinion 
anything that it is in the power of my own to bestow. 

" I cannot say that I have not valued such distinctions ; 
on the contrary, I esteem them very highly, but I do not 
think I have ever worked for or sought after them. Even 
were such to be now created here, the time is past when 
these would possess any attraction for me ; and you will see 
therefore how unfit I am, upon the strength of any personal 


motive or feeling, to judge of what might be influential 
upon the minds of others. Nevertheless, I will make one 
or two remarks which have often occurred to my mind. 

" Without thinking of the effect it might have upon 
distinguished men of science, or upon the minds of those 
who, stimulated to exertion, might become distinguished,! 
do think that a Government should for its own sake honour 
the men who do honour and service to the country. I 
refer now to honours only, not to beneficial rewards ; of 
such honours I think there are none. Knighthoods and 
baronetcies are sometimes conferred with such intentions, 
but I think them utterly unfit for that purpose. Instead of 
/'conferring distinction, they confound the man who is one 
of twenty, or perhaps fifty, with hundreds of others. They 
depress rather than exalt him, for they tend to lower the 
especial distinction of mind to the commonplaces of society. 
An intelligent country ought to recognize the scientific men 
among its people as a class. If honours are conferred upon 
eminence m any class, as that of the law or the army, they 
should be in this also. The aristocracy of the class should 
have other distinctions than those of lowly and high- 


born, rich and poor, yet they should be such as to be 
worthy of those whom the Sovereign and the country should 
delight to honour, and, being rendered very desirable and 
even enviable in the eyes of the aristocracy by birth, should 
be unattainable except to that of science. Thus much I 
think the Government and the country ought to do, for their 
own sake and the good of science, more than for the sake 
of the men who might be thought worthy of such distinc- 
tion. The latter have attained to their fit place, whether 
the community at large recognize it or not. 

" But besides that, and as a matter of reward and encourage- 
ment to those who have not yet risen to great distinction, I 
think the Government should, in the very many cases which 
come before it having a relation to scientific knowledge, 
employ men who pursue science, provided they are also men 
of business. This is perhaps now done to some -extent, 
but to nothing like the degree which is practicable with 
advantage to all parties. The right means cannot have 
occurred to a Government which has not yet learned to 
approach and distinguish the class as a whole. * * * 

" I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

" Your very faithful Servant, 

"M. Faraday." 

Sometimes people's views on these matters change 
when the despised distinction is actually offered, but it 
was not so with him ; for once, when indirectly sounded 
as to whether a knighthood would be acceptable, he de- 
clined the honour, preferring to "remain plain Michael 
Faraday to the last." 



In this day, when so many allow their names to be used 
for offices of which they never intended to discharge the 
duties, the following letter may convey an appropriate 
lesson : — 

M Royal Institution, Oct. ijth, 1849. 
"My dear Percy, 

"I cannot be on the committee; I avoid every- 
thing of that kind, that I may keep my stupid mind a little 
clear. As to being on a committee and not working, that 
is worse still. * * * 

" Ever yours and Mrs. Percy's, 

" M. Faraday." 

It is well known that he waged implacable war with the 
Spiritualists. Eighteen years ago tables took to spinning 
mysteriously under the fingers of ladies and gentlemen who 
sat or stood around the animated furniture ; much was said 
about a new force, much too about strange revelations from 
another sphere, but Faraday made a simple apparatus which 
convinced him and most others that the tables moved 
through the unconscious pressure of the hands that touched 
them. The account of this will be found in the Athetuzum 
of July 2, 1853. Three weeks afterwards he wrote to his 
y friend Schonbein : " I have not been at work except in 
turning the tables upon the table-turners, nor should I have 
done that, but that so many inquiries poured in upon me, 
that I thought it better to stop the inpouring flood by letting 
all know at once what my views and thoughts were. What 
a weak, credulous, incredulous, unbelieving, superstitious, 
bold, frightened, — what a ridiculous world ours is, as far aa 


concerns the mind of man ! How full of inconsistencies, 
contradictions, and absurdities it is 1 n But the believers in 
these occult phenomena, some of them holding high posi- 
tions about the Court, would not let him alone ; and there 
are many indications of the annoyance and irritation they 
caused him. He declined to meet the professors of the 
mysterious art, and the following letter will serve to show 
the way in which he regarded them : — 

" Royal Institution, Nov. i, 1864. 

" I beg to thank you for your papers, but have wasted 
more thought and time on so-called spiritual manifestation 
than it has deserved. Unless the spirits are utterly con- 
temptible, they will find means to draw my attention. 

" How is it that your name is not signed to the testimony 
that you give ? Are you doubtful even whilst you publish ? 
I've no evidence that any natural or unnatural power is 
concerned in the phenomena that requires investigation or 
deserves it. If I could consult the spirits, or move them to 
make themselves honestly manifest, I would do it But I 
cannot, and am weary of them. 

" I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, 

" M. Faraday." 

There was once a strange statement put forth to the effect 
that Faraday said electricity was life. 1 He himself denied it 
indignantly ; but as most falsehoods are perversions of some 
truth, this one probably originated in his experiments on the 

1 I myself once heard this advanced by an infidel lecturer on Pad- 
dington Green. 

I 2 


■ - — — _-_ _-. — _ — _ . 

Gymnotus. He felt an intense interest in those marine 
animals that give shocks, and sought " to identify the living 
power which they possess, with that which man can call into 
action from inert matter, and by him named electricity." * 
The most powerful of these is the Gymnotus, or electrical 
eel, and a live specimen of this creature, forty inches 
long, was secured by the Adelaide Gallery — a predecessor of 
the Polytechnic — in the summer of 1838. Four days after 
its arrival the poor creature lost an eye ; for two months 
it could not be coaxed to eat either meat or fish, worms or 
frogs ; but at last one day it killed and devoured four small 
fishes, and afterwards swallowed about a fish per diem. It 
was accustomed to swim round and round the tank, till 
a live fish was dropped in, when in some cases bending 
round its victim, it would discharge a shock that made the 
fish float on its back stunned and ready to be sucked 
into the jaws of its assailant. 

Faraday examined this eel and the water around it, both 
with his hands and with special collectors of electricity, and 
satisfied himself not merely of the shock, which was easy 
enough, but of its power to deflect a galvanometer, to make 
a magnet, to effect chemical decomposition, and to give a 
spark. His account of the experiments terminates with 
some speculations on the connection of this animal electricity 
with nervous power ; but there the matter rested. His own 
views were thus expressed to his friend Dumas : — "As living 
creatures produce heat, and a heat certainly identical with 
that of our hearths, why should they not produce electricity 
also, and an electricity in like manner identical with that of 

1 " Electrical Researches," Series XV. 


our machines ? But if the heat produced during life, and 
necessary to life, is not life after all, why should electricity 
itself be life ? Like heat, like chemical action, electricity is 
an implement of life, and nothing more." 

Whether the belief that electricity is life would be incon- 
sistent with the Christian faith or not, it is clear that when 
an infidel preacher asserts that Faraday held such an opinion, 
his assertion will influence few who are not already disposed 
to Materialism. Far more damaging is it to the cause of 
religion when her ministers repeat the assumption of the 
infidel that those who study the truths of nature are par- 
ticularly prone to disbelieve. Yet such statements have 
been made, even with reference to Faraday. I have it on 
the best authority that one of the leading clergymen of the 
day, preaching on a special occasion from Peter's words, 
" The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also 
and the works that are therein shall be burned up," spoke 
in antagonism to scientific men, alluding to Faraday by 
name, and to his computation of the tremendous electrical 
forces that would be produced by sundering the elements of 
one drop of water. " They shall be confuted by their own 
element — fire," added the preacher, careless of the con- 
clusion which his audience might legitimately draw from 
such a two-edged argument. The accuser of the men of 
science was much astonished when told after his sermon, 
by a brother clergyman, that Faraday and other eminent 
physicists of the day were believers in a divine revelation. 

It may be doubted whether Faraday ever tried to form a 
definite idea of the relation in which the physical forces 
stand to the Supreme Intelligence, as Newton did, or his 


own friend Sir John Herschel ; nor did he considei it part 
of his duty as a lecturer to look beyond the natural laws he 
was describing. His practice in this respect has been well 
described by the Rev. Professor Pritchard : 1 — " This great 
and good man never obtruded the strength of his faith upon 
those whom he publicly addressed ; upon principle he was 
habitually reticent on such topics, because he believed they 
were ill suited for the ordinary assemblages of men. Yet on 
more than one occasion when he had been discoursing on 
some of the magnificent pre-arrangements of Divine Provi- 
dence so lavishly scattered in nature, I have seen him struggle 
to repress the emotion which was visibly striving for utter- 
ance; and then, at the last, with one single far-reaching word, 
he would just hint at his meaning rather than express it. 
On such occasions he only who had ears to hear, could 

In his more familiar lectures to the cadets at Woolwich, 
however, he more than hinted at such elevated thoughts. 
In conversation, too, Faraday has been known to express 
his wonder that anyone should fail to recognize the constant 
traces of design ; and in his writings there sometimes occur 
such passages* as the following : — " When I consider the 
multitude of associated forces which are diffused through 
nature — when I think of that calm and tranquil balancing 
of their energies which enables elements most powerful in 
themselves, most destructive to the world's creatures and 
economy, to dwell associated together and be made subser- 
vient to the wants of creation, I rise from the contemplation 
more than ever impressed with the wisdom, the beneficence, 

1 "Analogies in the Progress of Nature and Grace, * p. 121. 


and grandeur beyond our language to express, of the Great 
Disposer of all ! " 

Faraday's journals abound with descriptions of "nature 
and human nature." He had evidently a keen eye for the 
beauties of scenery, and occasionally the objects around 
him suggested higher thoughts. Here are two instances 
taken from his notes of a Swiss tour in 1841 : — 

"Monday, 19th. — Very fine day; walk with dear Sarah 
on the lake side to Oberhofen, through the beautiful vine- 
yards; very busy were the women and men in trimming 
the vines, stripping off leaves and tendrils from the fruit- 
bearing branches. The churchyard was beautiful, and the 
simplicity of the little remembrance-posts set upon the 
graves very pleasant One who had been too poor to put 
up an engraved brass plate, or even a painted board, had 
written with ink 011 paper the birth and death of the being 
whose remains were below, and this had been fastened to 
a board, and mounted on the top of a stick at the head 
of the grave, the paper being protected by a little edge and 
roof. Such was the simple remembrance, but Nature had 
added her pathos, for under the shelter by the writing a 
caterpillar had fastened itself, and passed into its deathlike 
state of chrysalis, and, having ultimately assumed its final 
state, it had winged its way from the spot, and had left 
the corpse-like relics behind. How old and how beautiful 
is this figure of the resurrection ! Surely it can never appear 
before our eyes without touching the thoughts." 

"August 12th, Brienz Lake, — George and I crossed the 
lake in a boat to the Giessbach — he to draw, and I to 
saunter. . . . This most beautiful fall consists of a fine river, 

120 MICHAEL fiAKADA K [sect. 

which passes by successive steps down a very deep preci- 
pice into the lake. In some of these steps there is a clear 
leap of water of ioo feet or more, in others most beautiful 
combinations of leap, cataract, and rapid, the finest rocks 
occurring at the sides and bed of the torrent. In one part 
a bridge passes over it In another a cavern and a path 
occur under it To-day every fall was foaming from the 
abundance of water, and the current of wind brought down 
by it was in some parts almost too strong to stand against. 
The sun shone brightly, and the rainbows seen from various 
points were very beautiful. One at the bottom of a fine but 
furious fall was very pleasant. There it remained motion- 
less, whilst the gusts and clouds of spray swept furiously 
across its place, and were dashed against the rock. It 
looked like a spirit strong in faith and stedfast in the 
midst of the storm of passions sweeping across it ; and 
though it might fade and revive, still it held on to the 
rock as in hope and giving hope ; and the very drops 
which in the whirlwind of their fury seemed as if they 
would carry all away, were made to revive it and give it 
greater beauty. 

"How often are the things we fear and esteem as troubles 
made to become blessings to those who are led to receive 
them with humility and patience." 

In concluding this section it may be well to string to- 
gether a few gems from Faraday's lectures or correspondence, 
though they are greatly damaged by being torn away from 
their original setting : — 

" After all, though your science is much to me, we are 


not friends for science sake only, but for something better 
in a man, something more important in his nature, affec- 
tion, kindness, good feeling, moral worth ; and so, in re- 
membrance of these, I now write to place myself in your 
presence, and in thought shake hands, tongues, and hearts 
together. ,, This was addressed to Schonbein. 

"I should be glad to think that high mental powers 
insured something like a high moral sense, but have often 
been grieved to see the contrary: as also, on the other 
hand, my spirit has been cheered by observing in some 
lowly and uninstriicted creature such a healthful and 
honourable and dignified mind as made one in love with 
human nature. When that which is good mentally and 
morally meet in one being, that that being is more fitted 
to work out and manifest the glory of God in the creation, 
I fully admit." 

" Let me, as an old man who ought by this time to have 
profited by experience, say that when I was younger I 
found I often misinterpreted the intentions of people, and 
found they did not mean what at the time I supposed they 
meant \ and further, that as a general rule, it was better to 
be a little dull of apprehension when phrases seemed to 
imply pique, and quick in perception when, on the con- 
trary, they seemed to imply kindly feeling. The real truth 
never fails ultimately to appear ; and opposing parties, if 
wrong, are sooner convinced when replied to forbearingly, 
than when overwhelmed." 

" Man is an improving animal. Unlike the animated 
world around him, which remains in the same constant 
state, he is continually varying ; and it is one of the noblest 

122 MICHAEL FARADAY. [skct. 

prerogatives of his nature, that in the highest of earthly 
distinctions he has the power of raising and exalting 
himself continually. The transitory state of man has been 
held up to him as a memento of his weakness : to man 
degraded it may be so with justice; to man as he ought 
to be it is no reproach ; and in knowledge, that man only 
is to be contemned and despised who is not in a state 
of transition." 

" It is not the duty or place of a philosopher to dic- 
tate belief, and all hypothesis is more or less matter of 
belief; he has but to give his facts and his conclusions, 
and so much of the logic which connects the former with 
the latter as he may think necessary, and then to commit 
the whole to the scientific world for present, and, as he 
may sometimes without presumption believe, for future 
judgmenL ,, 




It is on record that when a young aspirant asked Faraday 
the secret of his success as a scientific investigator, he 
replied, "The secret is comprised in three words — Work, 
Finish, Publish/' 

Each of these words, we may be sure, is full of meaning, 
and will guide us in a useful inquiry. 

Already in the " Story of his Life " we have caught some 
glimpses of the philosopher at work in his laboratory ; but 
before looking at him more closely let us learn from a 
foreigner with what feelings to enter a place that is hallowed 
by so many memories sacred in the history of science. 
Professor Schonbein, of Basle, who visited England in 
1840, says : " During my stay in London, I once worked 
with Faraday for a whole day long in the laboratory of the 
Royal Institution, and I cannot forbear to say that this was 
one of the most enjoyable days that I ever spent in the 
British capital. We commenced our day's work with break- 
fast j and when that was over, I was supplied with one of 
the laboratory dresses of my friend, which, when I was pre- 

124 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

sented in it to the ladies, gave occasion to no little amuse- 
ment, as the dimensions of Faraday are different from those 
of my precious body. 

" To work with a man like Faraday was in itself a great 
pleasure; but this pleasure was not a little heightened in 
doing so in a place where such grand secrets of nature had 
been unfolded, the most brilliant discoveries of the century 
had been made, and entirely new branches of knowledge 
had been brought forth. For the empty intellect circum- 
stances of this nature are indeed of little special value ; but 
they stand in quite another relation to our power of imagi- 
nation and inner nature. 

"I do not deny that my surroundings produced in me 
a very peculiar feeling; and whilst I trod the floor upon 
which Davy had once walked — whilst I availed myself of 
some instrument which this great discoverer had himself 
handled — whilst I stood working at the very table at which 
the ever-memorable man sought to solve the most difficult 
problems of science, at which Faraday enticed the first 
sparks out of the magnet, and discovered the most beau- 
tiful laws of the chemical action of current electricity, 
I felt myself inwardly elevated, and believed that I myself 
experienced something of the inbreathing of the scientific 
spirit which formerly ruled there with such creative power, 
and which still works on." l 

The habit of Faraday was to think out carefully before- 

/ hand the subject on which he was working, and to plan 

his mode of attack. Then, if he saw that some new piece 

1 " Mittheilungen aus dem Reisetagebuche eines deutschen Natur- 
forschers," p. 275. 


of apparatus was needed, he would describe it fully to the 
instrument maker with a drawing, and it rarely happened 
that there was any need of alteration in executing the order. 
If, however, the means of experiment existed already, he 
would give Anderson a written list of the things he would 
require, at least a day before — for Anderson was not to be 
hurried. When all was ready, he would descend into the 
laboratory, give a quick glance round to see that all was 
right, take his apron from the drawer, and rub his hands 
together as he looked at the preparations made for his work. 
There must be no tool on the table but such as he required. - 
As he began, his face would be exceedingly grave, and 
during the progress of an experiment all must be perfectly 
quiet ; but if it was proceeding according to his wish, he 
would commence to hum a tune, and sometimes to rock 
himself sideways, balancing alternately on either foot. 
Then, too, he would often talk to his assistant about the 
result he was. expecting. He would put away each tool in 
its own place as soon as done with, or at any rate when 
the day's work was over, and he would not unnecessarily 
take a thing away from its place : thus, if he wanted a per- 
forated cork, he would go to the drawer which contained 
the corks and cork-borers, make there what he wanted, 
replace the borers, and shut the drawer. No bottle was 
allowed to remain without its stopper ; no open glass might 
stand for a night without a paper cover ; no rubbish was to 
be left on the floor ; bad smells were to be avoided if pos- 
sible ; and machinery in motion was not permitted to grate. 
In working, also, he was very careful not to employ more 
force than was wanted to produce the effect. When his 

226 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

experiments were finished and put away, he would leave the 
laboratory, and think further about them upstairs. 

This orderliness and this economy of means he not only 
practised himself, but he expected them also to be followed 
by any who worked with him ; and it is from conversation 
with these that I have been enabled to give this sketch 
of his manner of working. 1 

This exactness was also apparent in the accounts he 
kept with the Royal Institution and Trinity House, in which 
he entered every little item of expenditure with the greatest 
minuteness of detail. 

It was through this lifelong series of experiments that 
Faraday won his knowledge and mastered the forces of 
nature. The rare ingenuity of his mind was ably seconded 
by his manipulative skill, while the quickness of his 

1 Since the publication of the first edition I have been struck with 
how precisely his practice corresponded with his precept in the intro- 
duction to his book on " Chemical Manipulation:" — " When an experi- 
ment has been devised, its general nature and principles arranged in the 
mind, and the causes to be brought into action, with the effect to be 
expected, properly considered, then it has to be performed. The ulti- 
mate objects of an experiment, and also the particular contrivance or 
mode by which the results are to be produced, being mental, there 
remains the mere performance of it, which may properly enough be 
expressed by the term manipulation. 

" Notwithstanding this subordinate character of manipulation, it is 
yet of high importance in an experimental science, and particularly in 
chemistry. The person who could devise only, without knowing how 
to perform, would not be able to extend his knowledge far, or make it 
useful ; and where every doubt or question that arises in the mind is best 
answered by the result of an experiment, whatever enables the philosopher 
to perform the experiment in the simplest, quickest, and most direct 
manner, cannot but be esteemed by him as of the utmost value." 


perceptions was equalled by the calm rapidity of his 

He had indeed a passion for experimenting. This peeps 
out in the preface to the second edition of his " Chemical 
Manipulation," where he writes, " Being intended especially 
as a book of instruction, no attempts were made to render 
it pleasing, otherwise than by rendering it effectual; for I 
concluded that, if the work taught clearly what it was 
intended to inculcate, the high interest always belonging to 
a well-made or successful experiment would be abundantly 
sufficient to give it all the requisite charms, and more than 
enough to make it valuable in the eyes of those for whom 
it was designed." 

He could scarcely pass a gold leaf electrometer without 
causing the leaves to diverge by a sudden flick from his silk 
handkerchief. I recollect, too, his meeting me at the 
entrance to the lecture theatre at Jermyn Street, when Lyon 
Playfair was to give the first, or one of the first lectures ever 
delivered in the building. " Let us go up here," said he, 
leading me far away from the central table. I asked him 
why he chose such an out-of-the-way place. "Oh," he 
replied, " we shall be able here to find out what are the 
acoustic qualities of the room." 

The simplicity of the means with which he made his 
experiments was often astonishing, and was indeed one of 
the manifestations of his genius. 

A good instance is thus narrated by Sir Frederick Arrow. 
" When the electric light was first exhibited permanently at 
Dungeness, on 6th June, 1862, a committee of the Elder 
Brethren, of which I was one, accompanied Faraday to 

128 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

observe it. We dined, I think, at Dover, and embarked in 
the yacht from there, and were out for some hours watching 
it, to Faraday's great delight — (a very fine night) — and 
especially we did so from the Varne lightship, about equi- 
distant between it and the French light of Grisnez, using 
all our best glasses and photometers to ascertain the rela- 
tive value of the lights : and this brings me to my story. 
Before we left Dover, Faraday, with his usual bright smile, 
in great glee showed me a little common paper box, and 
said, ' I must take care of this ; it's my special photo- 
meter/ — and then, opening it, produced a lady's ordinary 
black shawl-pin, — jet, or imitation perhaps, — and then 
holding it a little way off the candle, showed me the image 
very distinct ; and then, putting it a little further off, placed 
another candle near it, and the relative distance was shown 
by the size of the image. He lent me this afterwards when 
we were at the Varne lightship, and it acted admirably ; 
and ever since I have used one as a very convenient mode 
of observing, and I never do so but I think of that night 
and dear good Faraday, and his genial happy way of 
showing how even common things may be made useful." 
After this Faraday modified his glass-bead photometer, and 
he might be seen comparing the relative intensity of two 
lights by watching their luminous images on a bead of 
black glass, which he had threaded on a string, and was 
twirling round so as to resolve the brilliant points into 
circles of fainter light ; or he fixed the black glass balls on 
pieces of cork, and, attaching them to a little wheel, set 
them spinning for the same purpose. Some of these beads 
are preserved by the Trinity House, with other treasures of 


a like kind, including a flat piece of solder of an irregular 
oval form, turned up at one side so as to form a thumb-rest, 
and which served the philosopher as a candlestick to support 
the wax-light that he used as a standard. The museum of 
the Royal Institution contains a most instructive collection 
of his experimental apparatus, including the common elec- 
trical machine which he made while still an apprentice at 
Riebau's, and the ring of soft iron, with its twisted coils 
of wire isolated by calico and tied with common string, by 
means of which he first obtained electrical effects from a 

In lecturing to the young he delighted to show how easily 
apparatus might be extemporized. Thus, in order to con- 
struct an electrical machine he once inverted a four-legged 
stool to serve for the stand, and took a white glass bottle for 
the cylinder. A cork was fitted into the mouth of this bottle, 
and a bung was fastened with sealing-wax to the other end : 
into the cork was inserted a handle for rotating the bottle, 
and in the centre of the bung was a wooden pivot on 
which it turned ; while with some stout wire he made 
crutches on two of the legs of the stool for the axles of this 
glass cylinder to work upon. The silk rubber he held in 
Y his hand. A japanned tin tea-canister resting on a glass 

tumbler formed the conductor, and the collector was the 
i head of a toasting fork. With this apparently rough 

r apparatus he exhibited all the rudimentary experiments in 

&, electricity to a large audience. 

I Wishing to carry home in good condition a flower that 

j had been given him, he rolled a piece of writing-paper 

l round a cork, tied it tightly with string, and filled the little 

130 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

tube with water. He had thus a perfectly efficient bouquet- 

A lady, calling on his wife, happened to mention that a 
needle had been once broken into her foot, and she did 
not know whether it had been all extracted or not " Oh ! " 
said Faraday, " I will soon tell you that," — and taking a 
finely suspended magnetic needle, he held it close to her 
foot, and it dipped to the concealed iron. 

On this subject Schonbein has also some good remarks. 
" The laboratory of the Institution is indeed efficiently ar- 
ranged, though anything but large and elaborately furnished. 
And yet something extraordinary has happened in this room 
for the extension of the limits of knowledge ; and already 
more has been done in it than in many other institutions 
where the greatest luxury in the supply of apparatus 
prevails, and where there is the greatest command of 
money. But when men work with the creative genius of 
a Davy, and the intuitive spirit of investigation and the 
wealth of ideas of a Faraday, important and great things 
must come to pass, even though the appliances at command 
should be of so limited a character. For the experimental 
investigator of nature, it is especially desirable that, accord- 
ing to the kind of his researches, he should have at com- 
mand such and such appliances, that he should possess a 
' philosophical apparatus,' a laboratory, &c. ; but for the 
purpose of producing something important, of greatly 
widening the sphere of knowledge, it in no way follows that 
a superfluity of such things is necessary to him. . . . He 
who understands how to put appropriate questions to Nature, 
generally knows how to extract the answers by simple 


means ; and he who wants this capacity will, I fear, obtain 
no profitable result, even though all conceivable tools and 
apparatus may be ready to his hand." 

Nor did Faraday require elaborate apparatus to illustrate 
his meaning. Steaming up the Thames one July day in a 
penny boat, he was struck with the offensiveness of the 
water. He tore some white cards into pieces, wetted them 
so as to make them sink easily, and dropped them into the 
river at each pier they came to. Their sudden disappearance 
from sight, though the sun was shining brightly, was proof 
enough of the impurity of the stream ; and he wrote a letter 
to the Times describing his observations, and calling public 
attention to the dangerous state of the river. 1 At a meeting 
of the British Association he wished to explain the manner 
in which certain crystallized bodies place themselves between 
the poles of an electro-magnet : two or three raw pota- 
toes furnished the material out of which he cut admirable 
models of the crystals. Wishing to show the electrical 
nature of gun-cotton, he has been known to lay his watch 
upon the table, balance on it a slender piece of wood, 
and, charging a morsel of the gun-cotton by drawing it 
along his coat sleeve, cause the wood to revolve towards 
the electric fibres. 

" An artist was once maintaining that in natural appear- 
ances and in pictures, up and down, and high and low, were 
fixed indubitable realities ; but Faraday told him that they 
were merely conventional acceptations, based on standards 

1 Pittick's cartoon next week represented Professor Faraday holding 
his nose, and presenting his card to Father Thames, who rises out of the 
unsavoury ooze. 

K 2 

132 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. \ 

often arbitrary. The disputant could not be convinced that 
ideas which he had hitherto never doubted had such shifting 
foundations. 'Well,' said Faraday, 'hold a walking-stick 
between your chin and your great toe ; look along it and 
say which is the upper end.' The experiment was tried, 
i and the artist found his idea of perspective at complete 
; variance with his sense of reality ; either end of the stick 
might be called ' upper,' — pictorially it was one, physically 
it was the other." 

Faraday's manner of experimenting may be further illus- 
trated by the recollections of other friends who have had 
the opportunity of watching him at work. 

Mr. James Young, who was in the laboratory of Uni- 
versity College in 1838, thus writes: — "About that time , 
Professor Graham had got from Paris Thilorier's apparatus 
for producing liquid and solid carbonic acid; hearing of 
this, Mr. Faraday came to Graham's laboratory, and, as 
one might expect, showed great interest in this apparatus, 
and asked Graham for the loan of it for a Friday evening 
lecture at the Royal Institution, which of course Graham 
readily granted, and Faraday asked me to come down to 
the Institution and give him the benefit of my experience 
in charging and working the apparatus ; so I spent a long 
evening at the Royal Institution laboratory. There was 
^ no one present but Faraday, Anderson, and myself. The 
principal thing we did was to charge the apparatus and 
work with the solid carbonic acid, Mr. Faraday working \ 
with great activity ; his motions were wonderfully rapid ; 
and if he had to cross the laboratory for anything, he did , 
not walk at an ordinary step, but ran for it, and when he 4 


wanted anything he spoke quickly. Faraday had a theory 
at that time that all metals would become magnetic if their 
temperature were low enough ; and he tried that evening 
some experiments with cobalt and manganese, which he 
cooled in a mixture of carbonic acid and ether, but the 
results were negative." 

Among the deep mines of the Durham coal-field is one 
called the Haswell Colliery. One Saturday afternoon, while 
the men were at work in it as usual, a terrible explosion 
occurred : it proceeded from the fire-damp that collects in 
the vaulted space that is formed in old workings, when 
the supporting pillars of coal are removed and the roof 
falls in : the suffocating gases rushed along the narrow 
passages^ and overwhelmed ninety-five poor fellows with 
destruction. Of course there was an inquiry, and the 
Government sent down to the spot as their commissioners 
Professor Faraday and Sir Charles Lyell. The two gentle- 
men attended at the coroner's inquest, where they took 
part in the examination of the witnesses ; they inspected 
the shattered safety-lamps ; they descended into the mine, 
spending the best part of a day in the damaged and there- 
fore dangerous galleries where the catastrophe had occurred, 
and they did not leave without showing in a practical 
form their sympathy with the sufferers. When down in the 
pit, an inspector showed them the way in which the work- 
men estimated the rapidity of the ventilation draught, by 
throwing a pinch of gunpowder through the flame of a 
candle, and timing the movement of the little puff of 
smoke. Faraday, not admiring the free and easy way in 
which they handled their powder, asked where they kept 

134 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

their store of it, and learnt that it was in a large black 
bag which had been assigned to him as the most comfort- 
able seat they could offer. We may imagine the liveliness 
with which he sprang to his feet, and expostulated with 
them on their culpable carelessness. 

My own opportunities of observing Faraday at work were 
nearly confined to a series of experiments, which are the 
better worth describing here as they have escaped the 
notice of previous biographers. The Royal Commission 
appointed to inquire into our whole system of Lights, 
Buoys, and Beacons, perceived a great defect that ren- 
dered many of our finest shore or harbour lights com- 
paratively ineffective. The great central lamp in a light- 
house is surrounded by a complicated arrangement of 
lenses and prisms, with the object of gathering up as many 
of the rays as possible and sending them over the surface 
of the sea towards the horizon. Now, it is evident that 
if this apparatus be adjusted so as to send the beam two 
or three degrees upwards, the light will be lost to the ship- 
ping and wasted on the clouds; and if two or three degrees 
downwards, it will only illuminate the water in the neigh- 
bourhood : in either case the beautiful and expensive 
apparatus would be worse than useless. It is evident also 
that if the eye be placed just above the wick of the lamp, 
) it will see through any particular piece of glass that very 
portion of the landscape which will be illuminated by a 
ray starting from the same spot ; or the photographic image 
formed in the place of the flame by any one of the lenses 
will tell us the direction in which that lens will throw the 
luminous rays. This simple principle was applied by the 


Commissioners for testing the adjustment of the apparatus 
in the different lights, and it was found that few were rightly 
placed, or rather that no method of adjustment was in use 
better than the mason's plumbline. The Royal Commis- 
sioners therefore in i860 drew the attention of all the light- 
house authorities to this fact, and asked the Elder Brethren of 
the Trinity House, with Faraday and other parties, to meet 
them at the lights recently erected at the North Foreland 
and Whitby. I, as the scientific member of the Commis- 
sion, had drawn out in detail the course of rays from dif- 
ferent parts of the flame, through different parts of the 
apparatus, and I was struck with the readiness with which 
Faraday, who had never before considered the matter, 1 took 
up the idea, and recognized its importance and its practical 
application. With his characteristic ingenuity, too, he devised 
a little piece of apparatus for the more exact observation of 
the matter inside the lighthouse. He took to Mr. Ladd, the 
optical instrument maker, a drawing, very neatly executed, 

1 Since writing the above I have come across a letter written by 
Faraday in answer to one by Captain Weller as far back as 13th Sept. 
1839, in which he pointed out the mal-adjustment of the dioptric appa- 
ratus at Orfordness. In July of the following year he made lengthy 
suggestions to the Trinity House, in which he proposed using a flat 
white circle or square, half an inch across, on a piece of black paper or 
card, as a " focal object." This was to be looked at from outside, in 
order to test the regularity of the glass apparatus. He also suggested 
observations on the divergence by looking at this white circle at a dis- 
tance of twenty feet at most. Another plan he proposed was that of 
lighting the lamp and putting up a white screen outside. These methods 
of examining he carried out very shortly afterwards at Blackwall, on 
French and English refractors, but it seems never to have occurred to 
him to place his eye in the focus, or in any other manner to observe the 
course of the rays from inside the apparatus. 

136 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

with written directions, and a cork cut into proper shape 
' with two lucifer matches stuck through it, to serve as a further 
explanation of his meaning : and from this the " focimeter," 
as he called it, was made. The position of the glass panels 
at Whitby was corrected by means of this little instrument, 
and there were many journeys down to Chance's glassworks 
> near Birmingham, where, declining the hospitality of the 
proprietor in order to be absolutely independent, he put up 
\at a small hotel while he made his experiments, and Jotted 
down his observations on the cards he habitually carried 
\ in his pocket. At length we were invited down to see the 
\ result Faraday explained carefully all that had been done, 
and at the risk of sea-sickness (no trifling matter in his case) 
accompanied us out to sea to observe the effect from various 
directions and at various distances. The experience acquired 
at Whitby was applied elsewhere, and in May 1861 the 
Trinity House appointed a Visiting Committee, "to examine 
all dioptric light establishments, with the view of remedying 
any inaccuracies of arrangement that may be found to exist" 
Faraday had instructed and practised Captain Nisbet and 
some others of the Elder Brethren in the use of the foci- 
meter, and now wrote a careful letter of suggestions on the 
question of adjustment between the lamp and the lenses 
and prisms ; so thoughtfully did he work for the benefit of 
those who " go down to the sea in ships, that do business 
in great waters." 

As to the mental process that devised, directed, and 
interpreted his experiments, it must be borne in mind that 
Faraday was no mathematician; his power of appreciating 
an d priori reason often appeared comparatively weak. u It 


has been stated on good authority that Faraday boasted 
on a certain occasion of having only once in the course 
of his life performed a mathematical calculation : that once 
was when he turned the handle of Babbage's calculating 
machine." 1 Though there was more pleasantry than truth 
in this professed innocence of numbers, probably no one 
acquainted with his electrical researches will doubt that, 
had he possessed more mathematical ability, he would have 
been saved much trouble, and would sometimes have ex- 
pressed his conclusions with greater ease and precision. 
Yet, as Sir William Thomson has remarked with reference 
to certain magnetic phenomena, " Faraday, without mathe- 
matics, divined the result of the mathematical investigation ; 
and, what has proved of infinite value to the mathemati- 
cians themselves, he has given them an articulate language 
in which to express their results. Indeed, the whole lan- 
guage of the magnetic field and ' lines of force ' is Fara- 
day's. It must be said for the mathematicians that they 
greedily accepted it, and have ever since been most zealous 
in using it to the best advantage." 

The peculiarity of his mind was indeed well known 
to himself. In a letter to Dr. Becker he says: "I was 
never able to make a fact my own without seeing it ; and 
the descriptions of the best works altogether failed to 
convey to my mind such a knowledge of things as to 
allow myself to form a judgment upon them. It was so 
with new things. If Grove, or Wheatstone, or Gassiot, or 
any other told me a new fact, and wanted my opinion 
either of its value, or the cause, or the evidence it could 
1 Dr. Scoffern, Belgravia, October 1867. 

138 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

give on any subject, I never could say anything until I 
had seen the fact. For the same reason I never could 
work, as some Professors do most extensively, by students 
or pupils. All the work had to be my own." 

Thus we are told what took place "when Dr. Tyndall 
brought Mr. Faraday into the laboratory to look at his new 
discovery of calorescence. As Faraday saw for the first 
time a piece of cold, black platinum , raised to a dazzling 
brightness when held in the focus of dark rays, a point 
undistinguishable from the air around, he looked on atten- 
tively, putting on his spectacles to observe more carefully, 
then ascertained the conditions of the experiment, and 
repeated it for himself ; and now quite satisfied, he turned 
with emotion to Dr. Tyndall, and almost hugged him with 
pleasure." 1 

The following story by Mr. Robert Mallet also serves as 
an illustration : — " It must be now eighteen years ago when 
I paid him a visit and brought some slips of flexible and 
tough Muntz's yellow metal, to show him the instantaneous 
change to complete brittleness with rigidity produced by 
dipping into pernitrate of mercury solution. He got the 
solution, and I showed him the facts ; he obviously did not 
doubt what he saw me do before and close to him : but a 
sort of experimental instinct seemed to require he should try 
it himself. So he took one of the slips, bent it forwards 
and backwards, dipped it, and broke it up into short bits 
between his own fingers. He had not before spoken. Then 
he said, 'Yes, it is pliable, and it does become instantly 
brittle. 1 -And after a few moments' pause he added, ' Well, 

1 Mr. Barrett, Nature, Sept. 19, 1872. 


now have you any more facts of the sort?' and seemed 
a little disappointed when I said, ' No ; none that are new/ 
It has often since occurred to me how his mind needed 
absolute satisfaction that he had grasped a fact, and then 
instantly rushed to colligate it with another if possible." 

But as the Professor watched these new facts, new 
thoughts would shape themselves in his mind, and this 
would lead to fresh experiments in order to test their truth. 
The answers so obtained would lead to further questions. 
Thus his work often consisted in the defeat of one hypo- 
thesis after another, till the true conditions of the phenomena 
came forth and claimed the assent of the experimenter and 
ultimately of the scientific world. 

A. de la Rive has some acute observations on this 
subject. He explains how Faraday did not place himself 
before his apparatus, setting it to work, without a precon- 
ceived idea- Neither did he take up known phenomena, 
as some scientific men do, and determine their numerical 
data, or study with great precision the laws which regulate 
them. " A third method, very different from the preceding, 
is that which, quitting the beaten track, leads, as if by 
inspiration, to those great discoveries which open new 
horizons to science. This method, in order to be fertile, 
requires one condition — a condition, it is true, which is 
but rarely met with — namely, genius. Now, this condition 
existed in Faraday. Endowed, as he himself perceived, 
with much imagination, he dared to advance where many 
others would have recoiled : his sagacity, joined to an 
exquisite scientific tact, by furnishing him with a presenti- 
ment of the possible, prevented him from wandering into 

l 4 o MICHAEL FAR AD A K [sect. 

the fantastic; while, always wishing only for facts, and 
accepting theories only with difficulty, he was neverthe- 
less more or less directed by preconceived ideas, which, 
whether true or false, led him into new roads, where most 
frequently he found what he sought, and sometimes also 
what he did not seek, but where he constantly met with 
some important discovery. 

" Such a method, if indeed it can be called one, although 
barren and even dangerous with mediocre minds, produced 
great things in Faraday's hands ; thanks, as we have said, to 
his genius, but thanks also to that love of truth which cha- 
racterized him, and which preserved him from the temptation 
so often experienced by every discoverer, of seeing what he 
wishes to see, and not seeing what he dreads." 

This love of truth deserves a moment's pause. It was 
one of the most beautiful and most essential of his charac- 
teristics ; it taught him to be extremely cautious in receiving 
the statements of others or in drawing his own conclusions, 1 

1 A good instance of his caution in drawing conclusions is contained 
in one of his letters to me : — 

"Royal Institution of Great Britain, 

2 July, 1859. 
" My dear Gladstone, 

" Although I have frequently observed lights from the sea, the 
only thing I have learnt in relation to their relative brilliancy is that 
the average of a very great number of observations would be required 
for the attainment of a moderate approximation to truth. One has to 
be some miles off at sea, or else the observation is not made in the 
chief ray, and then one does not know the state of the atmosphere about 
a given lighthouse. Strong lights like that of Cape Grisnez have been 
invisible when they should have been strong ; feeble lights by comparison 
have risen up in force when one might have expected them to be 


and it led him, if his scepticism was overcome, to adopt at 
once the new view, and to maintain it, if need be, against 
the world. 

"The. thing I am proudest of, Pearsall, is that I have 
never been found to be wrong," he could say in the early 
part of his scientific history without fear of contradiction. 
After his death A. de la Rive wrote, " I do not think that 
Faraday has once been caught in a mistake ; so precise and 

relatively weak ; and after inquiry has not shown a state of the air at 
the lighthouse explaining such differences. It is probable that the 
cause of difference often exists at sea. 

" Besides these difficulties there is that other great one of not seeing 
the two lights to be compared in the field of view at the same time 
and same distance. If the eye has to turn 90 from one to the other, 
I have no confidence in the comparison; and if both be in the field 
of sight at once, still unexpected and unexplained causes of difference 
occur. The two lights at the South Foreland are beautifully situated 
for comparison, and yet sometimes the upper did not equal the lower 
when it ought to have surpassed it. This I referred at the time to 
an upper stratum of haze ; but on shore they knew nothing of the 
kind, nor had any such or other reason to expect particular effects. 

" Ever truly yours, 

"M. Faraday." 

As an instance of his unwillingness to commit himself to an opinion 
unless he was sure about it, may be cited a letter he wrote to Sir G. B. 
Airy, the Astronomer Royal, who asked for his advice in regard to the 
material of which the national standard of length should be made : — 
"I do not see any reason why a pure metal should be particularly 
free from internal change of its particles, and on the whole should 
rather incline to the hard alloy than to soft copper, and yet I hardly 
know why. I suppose the labour would be too great to lay down the 
standard on different metals and substances ; and yet the comparison 
of them might be very important hereafter, for twenty years seem 
to do or tell a great deal in relation to standard measures/' Bronze 
was finally chosen. 

142 MICHAEL FARAD A Y. [sect. 

conscientious was his mode of experimenting and observ- 
ing." This is not absolutely true ; but the extreme rarity 
of his mistakes, notwithstanding the immense amount of 
his published researches, is one of those marvels which 
can be appreciated only by those who are in the habit of 
describing what they have seen in the mist land that lies 
beyond the boundaries of previous knowledge. 

Into this unknown region his mental vision was ever 
stretched. " I well remember one day," writes Mr. Barrett, 
a former assistant at the Royal Institution, "when Mr. 
Faraday was by my side, I happened to be steadying, by 
means of a magnet, the motion of a magnetic needle 
under a glass shade. Mr. Faraday suddenly looked most 
impressively and earnestly as he said, ' How wonderful and 
mysterious is that power you have there ! the more I think 
over it the less I seem to know :' — and yet he who said this 
knew more of it than any living man." 

It is easy to imagine with what wonder he would stand 
before the apples or leaves or pieces of meat that swung 
round into a transverse position between the poles of his 
gigantic magnet, or the sand that danced and eddied into 
regular figures on plates of glass touched by the fiddle-bow, 
or gold so finely divided that it appeared purple and when 
diffused in water took a twelvemonth to settle. It is easy, 
too, to imagine how he would long to gain a clear idea 
of what was taking place behind the phenomena. But it 
is far from easy to grasp the conceptions of his brain : 
language is a clumsy vehicle for such thoughts. He strove 
to get rid of such figurative terms as "currents" and 
" poles ; " in discussing the mode of propagation of light 


and radiant heat he endeavoured "to dismiss the ether, 
but not the vibrations ; " and in conceiving of atoms, he 
says : " As to the litde solid particles ... I cannot form ^ 
any idea of them apart from the forces, so I neither admit ' 
nor deny them. They do not afford me the least help in'' 
my endeavour to form an idea of a particle of matter. On 
the contrary, they greatly embarrass me." Yet he could not 
himself escape from the tyranny of words or the deceitful- 
ness of metaphors, and it is hard for his readers to com- 
prehend what was his precise idea of those centres of forces 
that occupy no space, or of those lines of force which he 
beheld with his mental eye, curving alike round his mag- 
netic needle, and that mightiest of all magnets— the earth. 

As he was jealous of his own fame, and had learnt by 
experience that discoveries could be stolen, he talked little 
about them till they were ready for the public; indeed, he 
has been known to twit a brother electrician for telling his 
discoveries before printing them, adding with a knowing 
laugh, " I never do that." He was obliged, however, to 
explain his results to Professor Whewell, or some other 
learned friend, if he wished to christen some new idea with 
a Greek name. One of Wheweirs letters on such an occa- 
sion, dated Trinity College, Cambridge, October 14, 1837, 
begins thus : — 

" My dear Sir, 

" I am always glad to hear of the progress of your 
researches, and never the less so because they require the 
fabrication of a new word or two. Such a coinage has 
always taken place at the great epochs of discovery ; like 

144 MICHAEL FARADA K [sect. 

the medals that are struck at the beginning of a new 
reign, or rather like the change of currency produced by 
the accession of a new Sovereign ; for their value and influ- 
ence consists in their coming into common circulation.' 1 

During the whole time of an investigation Faraday had 
kept ample notes, and when all was completed he had little 
to do but to copy these notes, condensing or re-arranging 
some parts, and omitting what was useless. The paper 
then usually consisted of a series of numbered paragraphs, 
containing first a statement of the subject of inquiry, then a 
series of experiments giving negative results, and afterwards 
the positive discoveries. In this form it was sent to the 
Royal Society or some other learned body. Yet this often 
involved considerable labour, as the following words written 
to Miss Moore in 1850 from a summer retreat in Upper 
Norwood will show : — " I write and write and write, until 
nearly three papers for the Royal Society are nearly com- 
pleted, and I hope that two of them will be good if they 
do justify my hopes, for I have to criticise them again and 
again before I let them loose. You shall hear of them at 
some of the next Friday evenings." 

This criticism did not cease with their publication, for 
he endeavoured always to improve on his previous work. 
Thus, in 1832 he bound his papers together in one volume, 
and the introduction on the fly-leaf shows the object with 
which it was done : — 

" Papers of mine, published in octavo, in the Quarterly 
Journal of Science, and elsewhere, since the time that Sir H. 
Davy encouraged me to write the analysis of caustic lime. 


" Some, I think (at this date), are good, others moderate, 
and some bad. But I have put all into the volume, because 
of the utility they have been of to me — and none more than 
the bad — in pointing out to me in future, or raiher after 
times, the faults it became me to watch and to avoid. 

" As I never looked over one of my papers a year after 
it was written, without believing, both in philosophy and 
manner, it could have been much better done, I still hope 

the collection may be of great use to me. 

" M. Faraday. 
"August 18, 1832." 

This section may be summed up in the words of Dumas 
when he gave the first " Faraday Lecture " of the Chemical 
Society : — " Faraday is the type of the most fortunate and 
the most accomplished of the learned men of our age. His 
hand in the execution of his conceptions kept pace with his 
mind in designing them ; he never wanted boldness when 
he undertook an experiment, never lacked resources to 
ensure success, and was full of discretion in interpreting 
results. His hardihood, which never halted when once he 
had undertaken a task, and his wariness, which felt its way 
carefully in adopting a received conclusion, will ever serve 
as models for the experimentalist." 

146 MICHAEL FARAD A K [sect. 



Science is pursued by different men from different 

" To some she is the goddess great ; 
To some the milch-cow of the field ; 
Their business is to calculate 
The butter she will yield." 

Now, Faraday had been warned by Davy before he entered 
his service that Science was a mistress who paid badly ; and 
in 1833 we have seen him deliberately make his calculation, 
give up the butter, and worship the goddess. 

For the same reason also he declined most of the positions 
of honour which he was invited to fill, believing that they 
would encroach too much on his time, though he willingly 
accepted the honorary degrees and scientific distinctions 
that were showered upon him. 1 

1 De la Rive points this out in his brief notice of Faraday imme- 
diately on receiving the news of his death: — " Je n'ai parle que du 
savant, je tiens aussi a dire un mot de l'homme. Alliant a une modestie 
vraie, parcequ'elle provenait de l'elevation de son ame, une droiture a 
toute epreuve et une candeur admirable, Faraday n'aimait la science que 
pour elle-meme. Aussi jouissait-il des succes des autres au moins autant 


And among those who follow Science lovingly, there are 
two very distinct bands : there are the philosophers, the 
discoverers, men who persistently ask questions of Nature ; 
and there are the practical men, who apply her answers to 
the various purposes of human life. Many noble names are 
inscribed in either bead-roll, but few are able to take rank 
in both services : indeed, the question of practical utility 
would terribly cramp the investigator, while the enjoyment 
of patient research in unexplored regions of knowledge is 
usually too ethereal for those who seek their pleasures in 
useful inventions. The mental configuration is different in 
the two cases ; each may claim and receive his due award 
of honour. 

Faraday was pre-eminently a discoverer ; he liked the 
name of " philosopher." His favourite paths of study seem 
to wander far enough from the common abodes of human 
thought or the requirements of ordinary life. He became 
familiar, as no other man ever was, with the varied forces of 
magnetism and electricity, heat and light, gravitation and 
galvanism, chemical affinity and mechanical motion ; but he 
did not seek to " harness the lightnings," or to chain those 
giants and to make them grind like Samson in the prison- 
house. His way of treating them reminds us rather of the old 
fable of Proteus, who would transform himself into a whirl- 

que des siens propres ; et quant a lui, s'il a accepte, avec une sincere 
satisfaction, les honneurs scientifiques qui lui ont iti prodigu^s a si 
juste titre, il a constamment refuse toutes les autres distinctions et les 
recompenses qu'on eut voulu lui decerner. II s'est contente toute sa vie 
de la position relativement modeste qu'il occupait a l'lnstitution Royale 
de Londres ; avoir son laboratoire et strictement de quoi vivre, c'est 
tout ce qu'il lui fallait— Presinge, le 29 aotit, 1867. — A. de la Rive." 

L 2 

14$ MICHAEL FARAD A K [sect. 

wind or a dragon, a flame of fire or a rushing stream, in 
order to elude his pursuer;. but if the wary inquirer could 
catch him asleep in his cave, he might be constrained to 
utter all his secret knowledge : for the favourite thought of 
Faraday seems to have been that these various forces were 
the changing forms of a Proteus, and his great desire seems 
to have been to learn the secret of their origin and their 
transformations. Thus he loved to break down the walls of 
separation between different classes of phenomena, and his 
eye doubtless sparkled witji delight when he saw what had 
always been looked upon as permanent gases liquefy like 
common vapours under the constraint of pressure and cold 
— ?when the wires that coiled round his magnets gave signs 
of an electric wave, or coruscated with sparks>J-when the 
electricities derived from the friction machine and from the 
voltaic pile yielded him the same series of phenomena — 
<ywhen he recognized the cumulative proof that the quantity 
of electricity in a galvanic battery is exactly proportional to 
the chemical action^when his electro-static theory seemed 
to break down the barrier between the conductors and insula- 
tors, and many other barriers beside-^when he sent a ray of 
polarized light through a piece of heavy glass between the 
poles of an electro-magnet, and on making contact saw that 
the plane of polarization was rotated, or, as he said, the light 
was magnetized-f-and when he watched pieces of bismuth, 
or crystals of Iceland spar, or bubbles of oxygen, ranging 
themselves in a definite position in the magnetic field. 

" I delight in hearing of exact numbers, and the determi- 
nations of the equivalents of force when different forms of 
force are compared one with another," he wrote to Joule 


in 1845 > an< * no wonder, for these quantitative comparisons 
have proved many of his speculations to be true, and have 
made them the creed of the scientific world. When he 
began to investigate the different sciences, they might be 
compared to so many different countries with impassable 
frontiers, different languages and laws, and various weights 
and measures ; but when he ceased they resembled rather a 
brotherhood of states, linked together by a community of 
interests and of speech, and a federal code ; and in bring- 
ing about this unification no one had so great a share as 

He loved to speculate, too, on Matter and Force, on the 
nature of atoms and of imponderable agents. " It is these 
things/' says the great German physicist Professor Helmholz, 
" that Faraday, in his mature works, ever seeks to purify 
more and more from everything that is theoretical, and is 
not the direct and simple expression of the fact. For 
instance, he contended against the action of forces at a 
distance, and the adoption of two electrical and two mag- 
netic fluids, as well as all hypotheses contrary to the law of 
the conservation of force, which he early foresaw, though he 
misunderstood it in its scientific expression. And it is just 
in this direction that he exercised the most unmistakeable 
influence first of all on the English physicists." 1 

While, however, Faraday was pre-eminently an experi- 
mental philosopher, he was far from being indifferent to the 
useful applications of science. His own connection with the 
practical side of the question was threefold : he undertook 
some laborious investigations of this nature himself; he was 
1 Preface to " Faraday und seine Entdeckungen." 


frequently called upon, especially by the Trinity House, to 
give his opinions on the inventions of others ; and he was 
fond of bringing useful inventions before the members of 
the Royal Institution in his Friday evening discourses. The 
first of these, on February 3, 1826, was on India-rubber, 
and was illustrated by an abundance of specimens both in 
\the raw and manufactured states. He traced the history of 
(the substance, from the crude uncoagulated sap to the sheet 
rubber and waterproof fabrics which Mr. Hancock and Mr. 
Macintosh had recently succeeded in preparing. In this 
way also he continued to throw the magic of his genius around 
Morden's machinery for manufacturing Bramah's locks, 
Ericsson's caloric engine, Brunei's block machinery at Ports- 
mouth, Petitjean's process for silvering mirrors, the preven- 
tion of dry-rot in timber, De la Rue's envelope machinery, 
artificial mbies, Bonelli's electric silk loom, Barry r s mode of 
ventilating the. House of Lords, and many kindred subjects. 
It may riot be amiss to describe the last of his Friday 
evenings, in which he brought before the public Mr. C. W. 
Siemens' Regenerative Gas Furnace. The following letter 
to the inventor will tell the first steps : — 

" Royal Institution, March 22, 1862. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I have just returned from Birmingham — and there 

saw at Chance's works the application of your furnaces 

to glass-making. I was very much struck with the whole 


"As our managers want me to end the F. evenings 

here after Easter, I have looked about for a thought, for I 

have none in myself. I think I should like to speak of the 


effects I saw at Chance's, if you do not object. If you 

assent, can you help me with any drawings or models, or 

illustrations either in the way of thoughts or experiments ? 

Do not say much about it out of doors as yet, for my mind 

is not settled in what way (if you assent) I shall present the 


" Ever truly yours, 

" M. Faraday. 
" C. W. Siemens, Esq." 

Of course the permission was gladly given, and Mr. 
Siemens met him at Birmingham, and for two days con- 
ducted him about works for flint and crown glass, or for 
enamel, as well as about ironworks, in which his principle 
was adopted, wondering at the Professor's simplicity of 
character as well as at his ready power of grasping the 
whole idea. Then came the Friday evening, 20th June, 
1862, in which he explained the great saving of heat 
effected, and pictured the world of flame into which he had 
gazed in some of those furnaces. But his powers of lectur- 
ing were enfeebled, and during the course of the hour he 
burnt his notes by accident, and at the conclusion he very 
pathetically bade his audience farewell, telling them that he 
felt he had been before them too long, and that the experi- 
ence of that evening showed he was now useless as their 
public servant, but he would still endeavour to do what he 
could privately for the Institution. The usual abstract of 
the lecture appeared, but not from his unaided pen. 

Inventors, and promoters of useful inventions, frequently 
benefited by the advice of Faraday, or by his generous help. 

1 52 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

A remarkable instance of this was told me by Cyrus Field. 
Near the commencement of his great enterprise, when he 
wished to unite the old and the new worlds by the 
telegraphic cable, he sought the advice of the great electri- 
cian, and Faraday told him that he doubted the possibility 
of getting a message across the Atlantic. Mr. Field saw that 
this fatal objection must be settled at once, and begged 
Faraday to make the necessary experiments, offering to pay 
him properly for his services. The philosopher, however, 
declined all remuneration, but worked away at the question, 
and presently reported to Mr. Field : — "It can be done, but 
you will not get an instantaneous message." " How long 
will it take?" was the next inquiry. "Oh, perhaps a 
second." "Well, that's quick enough for me," was the 
conclusion of the American; and the enterprise was pro- 
ceeded with. 

As to the electric telegraph itself, Faraday does not 
appear among those who claim its parentage, but he was 
constantly associated with those who do ; his criticisms led 
Ritchie to develop more fully his early conception, and he 
was constantly engaged with batteries and wires and 
magnets, while the telegraph was being perfected by others, 
and especially by his friend Wheatstone, whose name will 
always be associated with what is perhaps the most wonder- 
ful invention of modern times. 

As to Faraday's own work in applied science, his attempts 
to improve the manufacture of steel, and afterwards of glass 
for optical purposes, were among the least satisfactory of his 
researches. He was more successful in the matter of venti- 
lation of lamp-burners. The windows of lighthouses were 


frequently found streaming with water that arose from the 
combustion of the oil, and in winter this was often converted 
into thick ice. He devised a plan *by which this water was * s 
effectually carried away, and the room was also made more v, ^ 
healthy for the keepers. At the Athenaeum Club serious ^ 
complaints were made that the brilliantly lighted drawing- \ 
room became excessively hot, and that headaches were very t j» 
common, while the bindings of the books were greatly ^ * 
injured by the sulphuric acid that arose from the burnt \*> 
coal-gas. Faraday cured this by an arrangement of glass 1 J> 
cylinders over the ordinary lamp chimneys, and descend-^., \£ 
ing tubes which carried off the whole products of combus- 
tion without their ever mixing with the air of the room. 
This principle could of course be applied to brackets or 
chandeliers elsewhere, but the Professor made over any 
pecuniary benefit that might accrue from it to his brother, who 
was a lamp manufacturer, and had aided him in the invention. 

The achievements of Faraday are certainly not to be 
tested by a money standard, nor by their immediate adapta- 
tion to the necessities or conveniences of life. "Practical 
men" might be disposed to think slightly of the grand dis- 
coveries of the philosopher. Their ideas of "utility" will 
probably be different One man may take his wheat corn 
and convert it into loaves of bread, while his neighbour 
appears to lose his labour by throwing the precious grain 
into the earth: but which is after all most productive? The 
loaves will at once feed the hungry, but the sower's toil will 
be crowned in process of time by waving harvests. 

Yet some of Faraday's most recondite inquiries did bear 
practical fruit even during his own lifetime. In proof of 

154 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

this I will take one of his chemical and two of his electrical 

Long ago there was a Portable Gas Company, which 
made oil-gas and condensed it into a liquid. This liquid 
Faraday examined in 1824, and he found the most impor- 
tant constituent of it to be a light volatile oil, which he 
called bicarburet of hydrogen. The gas company, I pre- 
sume, came to an end; but what of the volatile liquid? 
Obtained from coal-tar, and renamed benzine or Benzol, 
it is now prepared on a large scale, and used as a solvent 
in some of our industrial arts. But other chemists have 
worked upon it, and torturing it with nitric acid, they have 
produced nitrobenzol — a gift to the confectioner and the 
perfumer. And by attacking this with reducing agents there 
was called into existence the wondrous base aniline, — 
wondrous indeed when we consider the transformations it 
underwent in the hands of Hofmann, and the light it was 
made to throw on the internal structure of organic com- 
pounds. Faraday used sometimes to pay a visit to the 
Royal College of Chemistry, and revel in watching these 
marvellous reactions. But aniline was of use to others 
besides the theoretical chemist Tortured by fresh appli- 
ances, this base gave highly-coloured bodies which it was 
found possible to fix on cotton as well as woollen and silken 
fabrics, and thence sprang up a large and novel branch of 
industry, while our eyes were delighted with the rich hues 
of mauve and magenta, the Bleu de Paris, and various other 
"aniline dyes." 

Everyone who is at all acquainted with the habits of 
electricity knows that the most impassable of obstacles is 


the air, while iron bolts and bars only help it in its flight : 
yet, if an electrified body be brought near another body, 
with this invisible barrier between them, the electrical state 
of the second body is disturbed. Faraday thought much 
over this question of " induction," as it is called, and found 
himself greatly puzzled to comprehend how a body should act 
where it is not At length he satisfied himself by experi- 
ment that the interposed obstacle is itself affected by the 
electricity, and acquires an electro-polar state by which it 
modifies electric action in its neighbourhood. The amount 
varies with the nature of the substance, and Faraday estimated 
it for such dielectrics as sulphur, shellac, or spermaceti, 
compared with air. He termed this new property of matter 
" specific inductiv e capacit y," and figured in his own mind 
the play of the molecules as they propagated and for a while 
retained the force. Now, these very recondite observations 
were opposed to the philosophy of the day, and they were 
not received by some of the leading electricians, especially 
of the Continent, while those who first tried to extend his 
experiments blundered over the matter. However, the pre- 
sent Professor Sir William Thomson, then a student at Cam- 
bridge, showed that while Faraday's views were rigorously 
deducible from Coulomb's theory, this discovery was a 
great advance in the philosophy of the subject. When 
submarine telegraph wires had to be manufactured, Thomson 
took "specific inductive capacity" into account in deter- 
mining the dimensions of the cable : for we have there all 
the necessary conditions— the copper wire is charged with 
electricity, the covering of gutta-percha is a " dielectric," and 
the water outside is ready to have an opposite electric con.- 

156 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

dition induced in it The result is that, as Faraday himself 
predicted, the message is somewhat retarded; and of course 
it becomes a thing of importance so to arrange -matters that 
this retardation may be as small as possible, and the signals 
may follow one another speedily. Now this must depend 
not only on the thickness of the covering, but also on the 
nature of the substance employed, and it was likely enough 
that gutta-percha was not the best possible substance. In 
fact, when Professor Fleeming Jenkin came to try the 
inductive capacity of gutta-percha by means of the Red Sea 
cable, he found it to be almost double that of shellac, which 
was the highest that Faraday had determined, and attempts 
have been made since to obtain some substance which should 
have less of this objectionable quality and be as well 
adapted otherwise for coating a wire. There is Hooper's 
material, the great merit of which is its low specific Jn- 
ductjve capacity, so that it permits of the sending of four 
signals while gutta-percha will only allow three to pass 
along; and Mr. Willoughby Smith has made an improved 
kind of gutta-percha with reduced capacity. Of course no 
opinion is expressed here on the value of these inventions, 
as many other circumstances must be taken into account, 
such as their durability and their power of insulation, — that 
is, preventing the leakage of the galvanic charge ; but at 
least they show that one of the most abstruse discoveries of 
Faraday has penetrated already into our patent offices and 
manufactories. Two students in the Physical Laboratory 
at Glasgow have lately determined with great care the 
inductive capacity of paraffin, and there can be little doubt 
that the speculations of the philosopher as to the condition 


of a dielectric will result in rendering it still more easy than 
at present to send words of information or of friendly greeting 
to our cousins across the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean. 

The history of the magneto-electric light affords another 
remarkable instance of the way in which one of Faraday's 
most recondite discoveries bore fruit in his own lifetime ; 
and it is the more interesting as it fell to his own lot to 
assist in bringing the fruit to maturity. 

" Brighton, November 29, 1831. 
" Dear Phillips, 

" For once in my life I am able to sit down and 
write to you without feeling that my time is so little that 
my letter must of necessity be a short one ; and accord- 
ingly I have taken an extra large sheet of paper, intending 
to fill it with news. 

"But how are you getting on? Are you comfortable? 
And how does Mrs. Phillips do ; and the girls ? Bad cor- 
respondent as I am, I think you owe me a letter ; and as 
in the course of half an hour you will be doubly in my 
debt, pray write us, and let us know all about you. Mrs. 
Faraday wishes me not to fprget to put her kind remem- 
brances to you and Mrs. Phillips in my letter 

"We are here to refresh. I have been working and 
writing a paper that always knocks me up in health ; but 
now I feel well again, and able to pursue my subject ; and 
now I will tell you what it is about. The title will be, I 
think, ' Experimental Researches in Electricity :' — I. On 
the Induction of Electric Currents ; II. On the Evolution 
of Electricity from Magnetism ; III. On a new Electrical 
Condition of Matter ; IV. On Arago's Magnetic Phenomena. 



158 MICHAEL FARADA Y. [sect. 

There is a bill of fare for you ; and, what is more, I hope 
it will not disappoint you. Now, the pith of all this I 
must give you very briefly; the demonstrations you shall 
have in the paper when printed. . . . ." 

So wrote Faraday to his intimate friend Richard Phillips, 
on November 29th, 183 1, and the letter goes on to describe 
the great harvest of results which he had gathered since 
the 29th of August, when he first obtained evidence of an 
electric current from a magnet A few days afterwards he 
was at work again on these curious relations of magnetism 
and electricity in his laboratory, and at the Round Pond 
in Kensington Gardens, and with Father Thames at 
Waterloo Bridge. On the 8th of February he entered in 
his note-book : " This evening, at Woolwich, experimented 
with magnet, and for the first time got the magneticspark 
myself. Connected ends of a helix into two general ends, 
and then crossed the wires in such a way that a blow at a b 
would open them a little. Then bringing a b against the 
poles of a magnet, the ends were disjoined, and bright 
sparks resulted." 

Next day he repeated this experiment at home with Mr. 
DanielFs magnet, and then invited some of his best friends 
to come and see the tiny speck of light. 1 

1 I am indebted to Sir Charles Wheatstone for the following im- 
promptu by Herbert Mayo :-^ 

"Around the magnet Faraday 
Was sure that Volta's lightnings play : 

But how to draw them from the wire ? 
He drew a lesson from the heart : 
'Tis when we meet, 'tis when we part, 

Breaks forth the electric fire." 


— Ill - !■■■_! 

But what was the use of this little spark between the 
shaken wires? "What is the use of an infant?" asked 
Franklin once, when some such question was proposed 
to him. Faraday said that the experimentalist's answer 
was, "Endeavour to make it useful" But he passed to 
other researches in the same field. 

" I have rather been desirous," he says, " of discovering 
new facts and new relations dependent on magneto-electric 
induction, than of exalting the force of those already ob- 
tained ; being assured that the latter would find their full 
development hereafter." And in this assurance he was not 
mistaken. Electro-magnetism has been taken advantage of 
on a large scale by the metallurgist and the telegrapher; 
and even the photographer and sugar-refiner have attempted 
to make it their servant ; but it is its application as a source 
of light that is most interesting to us in connection with 
its discoverer. 

Many "electric lights" were invented by "practical men," 
the power being generally derived from a galvanic battery ; 
and it was discovered that by making the terminals of the 
wires of charcoal, the brilliancy of the spark could be 
enormously increased. Some of these inventions were 
proposed for lighthouses, and so came officially under the 
notice of Faraday as scientific adviser to the Trinity House. 
Thus he was engaged in 1853 and 1854 with the beautiful 
electric light of Dr. Watson, which he examined most care- 
fully, evidently hoping it might be of service, and at length 
he wrote an elaborate report pointing out its advantages, 
but at the same time the difficulties in the way of its 
practical adoption. The Trinity Corporation passed a special 

160 MICHAEL FAR ADA Y. [sect. 

vote of thanks for his report, and hesitated to proceed 
further in the matter. 

But Faraday's own spark was destined to be more suc- 
cessful In 1853 some large magneto-electric machines 
were set up in Paris for producing combustible gas by the 
decomposition of water. The scheme failed, but a Mr. 
F. H. Holmes suggested that these expensive toys might 
be turned to account for the production of light "My 
propositions," he told the Royal Commissioners of Light- 
houses, " were entirely ridiculed, and the consequence was, 
that instead of saying that I thought I could do it, I pro- 
mised to do it by a certain day. On that day, with one 
of Duboscq's regulators or lamps, I produced the magneto- 
electric light for the first time ; but as the machines were 
ill-constructed for the purpose, and as I had considerable 
difficulty to make even a temporary adjustment to produce 
a fitting current, the light could only be exhibited for a few- 
minutes at a time." He turned his attention to the recon- 
struction of the machines, and after carrying on his expe- 
riments in Belgium, he applied to the Trinity Board in 
February 1857. Here was the tiny spark, which Faraday 
had produced just twenty-five years before, exalted into a 
magnificent star, and for Faraday it was reserved to decide 
whether this star should shed its brilliance from the cliffs 
of Albion. A good piece of optical apparatus, intended for 
the Bishop Rock in the Scillies, happened to be at the ex- 
perimental station at Blackwall, and with this comparative 
experiments were made. We can imagine something of the 
interest with which Faraday watched the light from Wool- 
wich, and asked questions of the inventor about all the 


details of its working and expense ; and we can picture the 
alternations of hope and caution as he wrote in his report, 
" The light is so intense, so abundant, so concentrated and 
focal, so free from under-shadows (caused in the common 
lamp by the burner), so free from flickering, that one cannot 
but desire it should succeed. But," he adds, "it would 
require very careful and progressive introduction — men with 
peculiar knowledge and skill to attend it ; and the means of 
instantly substituting one lamp for another in case of. acci- 
dent The common lamp is so simple, both in principle 
and practice, that its liability to failure is very small. There 
is no doubt that the magneto-electric lamp involves a great 
number of circumstances tending to make its application 
more refined and delicate ; but I would fain hope that none 
of these will prove a barrier to its introduction. Neverthe- 
less, it must pass into practice only through the ordeal of a 
full, searching, and prolonged trial." This trial was made 
in the upper of the two light towers at the South Foreland ; 
but it was not till the 8th December, 1858, that the experi- 
ment was commenced. Faraday made observations on it 
for the first two days, but it did not act well, and was dis- 
continued till March 28, 1859, when it again shot forth its 
powerful rays across the Channel. 

It was soon inspected by Faraday inside and outside, by 
land and by sea. His notes terminate in this way : — " Went 
to the hills round, about a mile off, or perhaps more, so as 
to see both upper and lower light at once. The effect was 
very fine. The lower light does not come near the upper 
in its power, and, as to colour, looks red whilst the upper 
is white. The visible rays proceed from both horizontally, 


1 62 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

but those from the low light are not half so long as those 
from the electric light The radiation from the upper light 
was beautifully horizontal, going out right and left with 
intenseness like a horizontal flood of light, with blackness 
above and blackness below, yet the sky was clear and the 
stars shining brightly. It seemed as if the lanthorn x only 
were above the earth, so dark was the path immediately 
below the lanthorn, yet the whole tower was visible from 
the place. As to the shadows of the uprights, one could 
walk into one and across, and see the diminution of the 
light, and could easily see when the edge of the shadow was 
passed. They varied in width according to the distance 
from the lanthorn. With upright bars their effect is con- 
siderable at a distance, as seen last night; but inclining 
these bars would help in the distance, though not so much 
as with a light having considerable upright dimension, as is 
the case with an oil-lamp. 

" The shadows on a white card are very clear on the 
edge — a watch very distinct and legible. On lowering the 
head near certain valleys, the feeble shadow of the distant 
grass and leaves was evident. The light was beautifully 
steady and bright, with no signs of variation — the appear- 
ance was such as to give confidence to the mind — no doubt 
about its continuance. 

" As a light it is unexceptionable — as a magneto-electric 
light wonderful — and seems to have all the adjustments of 
quality and more than can be applied to a voltaic electric 
light or a Ruhmkorff coil." 

1 The room with glass sides, from which the light is exhibited at the 
top of a lighthouse, is called by this name. 


Tne Royal Commissioners and others saw with gratifi- 
cation this beautiful light, and arrangements were made for 
getting systematic observations of it by the keepers of all 
the lighthouses within view, the masters of the light-vessels 
that guard the Goodwin Sands, and the crews of pilot 
cutters ; after which Faraday wrote a very favourable report, 
saying, among other things : " 1 beg to state that in my 
opinion Professor Holmes has practically established the 
fitness and sufficiency of the magneto-electric light for light- 
house purposes, so far as its nature and management are 
concerned. The light produced is powerful beyond any 
other that I have yet seen so applied, and in principle may 
be accumulated to any degree ; its regularity in the lanthorn 
is great, its management easy, and its care there may be 
confided to attentive keepers of the ordinary degree of 
intellect and knowledge." 1 

The Elder Brethren then wished a further trial of six 
months, during which time the light was to be entirely 
under their own control. It was therefore again kindled 
on August 22, and the experiment happened soon to be ex- 
posed to a severe test, as one of the light-keepers, who had 
been accustomed to the arrangement of the lamps in the 
lantern, was suddenly removed, and another took his place 
without any previous instruction. This man thought the 
light sufficiently strong if he allowed the carbon points to 
touch, as the lamp then required no attendance whatever, 

1 One night there was a beautiful aurora. Mr. Holmes remarked 
that his poor electric light could not compare with that for beauty ; but 
Faraday rejoined, " Don't abuse your light. The aurora is very beauti- 
ful, and so U a' wild horse, but you have tamed it and made it valuable.' 9 

M 2 

1 64 MICHAEL FARADAY. [sect. 

and he could leave it m that way for hours together. On 
being remonstrated with, he said, " It is quite good enough." 
Notwithstanding such difficulties as these, the experiment 
was considered satisfactory, but it was discontinued at the 
South Foreland, for the cliffs there are marked by a double 
light, and the electric spark was so much brighter than the 
oil flames in the other house, that there was no small danger 
of its being seen alone in thick weather, and thus fatally 
misleading some unfortunate vessel. 

After this Faraday made further observations, estimates 
of the expense, and experiments on the divergence of the 
beam, while Mr. Holmes worked away at Northfleet per- 
fecting his apparatus, and the authorities debated whether 
it was to be exhibited again at the Start, which is a revol- 
ving light, or at Dungeness, which is fixed. The scientific 
adviser was in favour of the Start, but after an interview 
with Mr. Milner Gibson, then President of the Board of 
Trade, Dungeness was determined on; a beautiful small 
combination of lenses and prisms was made expressly for it 
by Messrs. Chance, and at last, after two years' delay, the 
light again shone on our southern coast. 

It may be well to describe the apparatus. There are 120 
permanent magnets, weighing about 50 lbs. each, ranged on 
the periphery of two large wheels. A steam-engine of about 
three-horse power causes a series of 180 soft iron cores, 
surrounded by coils of wire, to rotate past the magnets. 
This calls the power into action, and the small streams of 
electricity are all collected together, and by what is called 
a " commutator " the alternative positive and negative cur- 
rents are brought into one direction. The whole power is 


then conveyed by a thick wire from the engine-house to the 
lighthouse tower, and up into the centre of the glass ap- 
paratus. There it passes between two charcoal points, and 
produces an intensely brilliant continuous spark. At sunset 
the machine is started, making about 100 revolutions per 
minute \ and the attendant has only to draw two bolts in 
the lamp, when the power thus spun in the engine-room 
bursts into light of full intensity. The "lamp" regulates 
itself, so as to keep the points always at a proper distance 
apart, and continues to burn, needing little or no attention 
for three hours and a half, when, the charcoals being con- 
sumed, the lamp must be changed, but this is done without 
extinguishing the light. 

Again there were inspections, and reports from pilots and 
other observers, and Faraday propounded lists of questions 
to the engineer about bolts and screws and donkey-engines, 
while he estimated that at the Varne light-ship, about equi- 
distant from Cape Grisnez and Dungeness, the maximum 
effect of the revolving French light was equalled by the 
constant gleam from the English tower. But delays again 
ensued till intelligent keepers could be found and properly 
instructed; but on the 6th June, 1862, Faraday's own light, 
the baby grown into a giant, shone permanently on the coast 
of Britain. 

France, too, was alert. Berlioz's machine, which was 
displayed at the International Exhibition in London, and 
which was also examined by Faraday, was approved by the 
French Government, and was soon illuminating the double 
lighthouse near Havre. These magneto-electric lights on 
either side of the Channel have stood the test of years ; and 

166 MICHAEL FARADA K |sect. v. 

during the last two years there has shone another still more 
beautiful one at Souter Point, near Tynemouth ; while the 
narrow strait between England and France is now guarded 
by these " sentinels of peaceful progress," for the revolving 
light at Grisnez has been lately illuminated oh this principle, 
and on the ist of January, 1872, the two lights of the South 
Foreland flashed forth with the electric flame. 1 

In describing thus the valuable applications of Faraday's 
discoveries of benzol, of specific inductive ^capacity, and 
of magneto-electricity, it is not intended to exalt these 
above other discoveries which as yet have paid no tribute 
to the material wants of man. The good fruit borne by 
other researches may not be sufficiently mature, but it 
doubtless contains the seeds of many useful inventions. 
Yet, after all, we must not measure the worth of Faraday's 
discoveries by any standard of practical utility in the pre- 
sent or in the future. His chief merit is that he enlarged 
so much the boundaries of our knowledge of the physical 
forces, opened up so many new realms of thought, and won 
so many heights which have become the starting-points for 
other explorers. 

1 The illuminating apparatus at Dungeness is one of what is termed 
the sixth order, 300 millimetres (about 12 inches) in diameter. Mr. 
Chance constructed one for Souter Point of the third order, one metre 
(nearly 40 inches) in diameter, with special arrangements for giving arti- 
ficial divergence to the beam in a vertical direction, in order to obviate 
the danger arising from the luminous point not being always precisely in 
the same spot. It has also additional contrivances for utilizing the back 
light Similar arrangements were made for the South Foreland lights, 
which are also of the third order ; and every portion of the machinery 
and apparatus is in duplicate in case of accident, and the double force 
can be employed in times of fog. 


It has been said that there is no photograph or painting 
of Faraday which is a satisfactory likeness ; not because 
good portraits have never been published, but because they 
cannot give the varied and ever-shifting expression of his 
features. Similarly, I fear that the mental portraiture which 
I have attempted will fail to satisfy his intimate acquaint- 
ance. Yet, as one who never saw him in the flesh may gain 
a good idea of his personal appearance by comparing 
several pictures, so the reader may learn more of his intel- 
lectual and moral features by combining the several esti- 
mates which have been made by different minds. Earlier 
biographies have been already referred to, but my sketch 
may well be supplemented by an anonymous poem that 
appeared immediately after his death, and by the words of 
two of the most distinguished foreign philosophers — Messrs. 
De la Rive and Dumas. 

" Statesmen and soldiers, authors, artists, — still 
The topmost leaves fall off our English oak : 
Some in green summer's prime, some in the chill 
Of autumn-tide, some by late winter's stroke. 


14 Another leaf has dropped on that sere heap — 
One that hung highest ; earliest to invite 
The golden kiss of morn, and last to keep 
The fire of eve — but still turned to the light. 

" No soldier's, statesman's, poet's, painter's name 

Was this, thro' which is drawn Death's last black line ; 
But one of rarer, if not loftier fame — 
A priest of Truth, who lived within her shrine. 


A priest of Truth : his office to expound 
Earth's mysteries to ail who willed to hear — 

Who in the book of Science sought and found, 
With love, that knew all reverence, but no fear. 

" A priest, who prayed as well as ministered : 

Who grasped the faith he preached, and held it fast : 
Knowing the light he followed never stirred, 

Howe'er might drive the clouds thro' which it past. 

" And if Truth's priest, servant of Science too, 

Whose work was wrought for love and not for gain : 
Not one of those who serve but to ensue 
Their private profit : lordship to attain 


Over their lord, and bind him in green withes, 
For grinding at the mill 'neath rod and cord ; 

Of the large grist that they may take their tithes — 
So some serve Science that call Science lord. 

" One rule his life was fashioned to fulfil : 

That he who tends Truth's shrine, and does the hest 
Of Science, with a humble, faithful will, 
The God of Truth and Knowledge serveth best 

" And from his humbleness what heights he won ! 
By slow march of induction, pace on pace, 
Scaling the peaks that seemed to strike the sun, 
Whence few can look, unblinded, in his face. 


" Until he reached the stand which they that win 

A bird's-eye glance o'er Nature's realm may throw ; 
Whence the mind's ken by larger sweeps takes in 
What seems confusion, looked at from below. 

" Till out of seeming chaos order grows, 
In ever-widening orbs of Law restrained, 
And the Creation's mighty music flows 
In perfect harmony, serene, sustained ; 


And from varieties of' force and power, 

A larger unity, and larger still, 
Broadens to view, till in some breathless hour 

All force is known, grasped in a central Will, 

" Thunder and light revealed as one same strength — 
Modes of the force that works at Nature's heart— 
And through the Universe's veined length 
Bids, wave on wave, mysterious pulses dart. 

" That cosmic heart-beat it was his to list, 
To trace those pulses in their ebb and flow 
Towards the fountain-head, where they, subsist 
In form as yet not given e'en him to know. 

" Yet, living face to face with these great laws, 

Great truths, great myst'ries, all who saw him near 
Knew him for child-like, simple, free from flaws 
Of temper, full of love that casts out fear : 

" Untired in charity, of cheer serene; 

Not caring world's wealth or good word to earn ; 
Childhood's or manhood's ear content to win ; 
And still as glad to teach as meek to learn. 

<( Such lives are precious : not so much for all 
Of wider insight won where they have striven, 
As for the still small voice with which they call 
Along the beamy way from earth to heaven." 

Punchy September 7, 1867. 


The estimate of M. A. de la Rive is from a letter he 
addressed to Faraday himself : — 

" I am grieved to hear that your brain is weary ; this has 
sometimes happened on former occasions, in consequence 
of your numerous and persevering labours, and you will 
bear in mind that a little rest is necessary to restore you. 
You possess that which best contributes to peace of mind 
and serenity of spirit — a full and perfect faith, a pure and 
tranquil conscience, filling your heart with the glorious 
hopes which the Gospel imparts. You have also the advan- 
tage of having always led a smooth and wellrregulated life, 
free from ambition, and therefore exempt from all the 
anxieties and drawbacks which are inseparable from it. 
Honour has sought you in spite of yourself; you have 
known, without despising it, how to value it at its true 
worth. You have known how to gain the high esteem, and 
at the same time die affection, of all those acquainted 
with you. 

"Moreover, thanks to the goodness of God, you have 
not suffered any of those family misfortunes which crush 
one's life. You should, therefore, watch the approach of old 
age without fear and without bitterness, having the comfort- 
ing feeling that the wonders which you have been able to 
decipher in the book of nature must contribute to the 
greater reverence and adoration of their Supreme Author. 

" Such, my dear friend, is the impression that your beau- 
tiful life always leaves upon me; and when I compare it 
With our troubled and ill-fulfilled life-course, with all that 
accumulation of drawbacks and griefs by which mine in 
particular has been attended, I put you down as very 


happy, especially as you are worthy of your good fortune. 
This leads me to reflect on the miserable state of those who 
are without that religious faith which you possess in so great 
a degree. " 

In M. Dumas' Eloge at the Academie des Sciences, 
occur the following sentences : — 

"I do not know whether there is a savant who would 
not feel happy in leaving behind him such works as those 
with which Faraday has gladdened his contemporaries, and 
which he has left as a legacy to posterity : but I am certain 
that all those who have known him would wish to approach 
that moral perfection which he attained to without effort. 
In him it appeared to be a natural grace, which made him 
a professor full of ardour for the diffusion of truth, an 
indefatigable worker, full of enthusiasm and sprightliness 
in his laboratory, the best and most amiable of men in the 
bosom of his family, and the most enlightened preacher 
amongst the humble flock whose faith he followed. 

"The simplicity of his heart, his candour, his ardent 
love of the truth, his fellow-interest in all the successes, 
and ingenuous admiration of all the discoveries of others, 
his natural modesty in regard to what he himself discovered, 
his noble soul — independent and bold, — all these combined 
gave an incomparable charm to the features of the illus- 
trious physicist. 

"I have never known a man more worthy of being 
loved, of being admired, of being mourned. 

" Fidelity to his religious faith, and the constant obser- 
vance of the moral law, constitute the ruling characteristics 
of his life. Doubtless his firm belief in that justice on high 


which weighs all our merits, in that sovereign goodness 
which weighs all our sufferings, did not inspire Faraday 
with his great discoveries, but it gave him the straight- 
forwardness, the self-respect, the self-control, and the spirit 
of justice, which enabled him to combat evil fortune with 
boldness, and to accept prosperity without being puffed 
up. . . • 

" There was nothing dramatic in the life of Faraday. . It 
snould be presented under that simplicity of aspect which 
is the grandeur of it. There is, however, more than one 
useful lesson to be learnt from the proper study of this 
illustrious man, whose youth endured poverty with dignity, 
whose mature age bore honours with moderation, and 
whose last years Jiave just passed gently away surrounded 
by marks of respect and tender affection. n 





1823. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, Paris. 
Corresponding member of the Accademia dei Georgofili, 

Honorary member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 
Honorary member of the British Institution. 

1824. Fellow of the Royal Society. 

Honorary member of the Cambrian Society, Swansea. 
Fellow of the Geological Society. 

1825. Member of the Royal Institution. 

Corresponding member of the Society of Medical Chemists, 

1826. Honorary member of the Westminster Medical Society. 

1827. Correspondent of the Soctete Philomathique, Paris. 

1828. Fellow of the Natural Society of Science, Heidelberg. 

1829. Honorary member of the Society of Arts, Scotland. 

1831. Honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. 


1832. Honorary member of the College of Pharmacy, Philadelphia. 
Honorary member of the Chemical and Physical Society, Paris. 
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston. 
Member of the Royal Society of Science, Copenhagen. 

1833. Corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, 

Berlin. , 

Honorary member of the Hull Philosophical Society. 

1834. Foreign corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences and 

Literature., Palermo. 



1835. Corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Medicine, 

Honorary member of the Royal Society, Edinburgh. 
Honorary member of the Institution of British Architects. 
Honorary member of the Physical Society, Frankfort. 
Honorary Fellow of the Medico-Chirurgical Society, London* 

1836. Senator of the University of London. 

Honorary member of the Society of Pharmacy, Lisbon. 
Honorary member of the Sussex Royal Institution. 
Foreign member of the Society of Sciences, Modena. 
Foreign member of the Natural History Society, Basle. 

1837. Honorary member of the Literary and Scientific Institution, 


1838. Honorary member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 
Foreign member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. 

1S40. Member cf the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. 
Honorary member of the Hunterian Medical Society, Edinburgh. 

1842. Foreign Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Berlin. 

1843. Honorary member of the Literary and Philosophical Society, 

Honorary member of the Useful Knowledge Society, Aix-la- 

1844. Foreign Associate of the Academy of Sciences, Paris. 
Honorary member of the Sheffield Scientific Society. 

1S45. Corresponding member of the National Institute, Washington. 
Corresponding member of the Societe d' Encouragement, Paris. 
1846: Honorary member of the Society of Sciences, Vaud. 

1847. Member of the Academy of Sciences, Bologna. 

Foreign Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium. 
Fellow of the Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich. 
Correspondent of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. 

1848. Foreign honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 


1849. Honorary member, first class, of the Institut Royal des Pays 

Foreign correspondent of the Institute, Madrid. 

1850. Corresponding Associate of the Accademia Pontificia, Rome. 
Foreign Associate of the Academy of Sciences, Haarlem. 



1 85 1. Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, The Hague. 

Corresponding member of the Batavian Society of Experimental 

Philosophy, Rotterdam. 
Fellow of the Royal Society of Sciences, Upsala. 

1853. Foreign Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Turin. 
Honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, 


1854. Corresponding Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, 


1855. Honorary member of the Imperial Society of Naturalists, 

Corresponding Associate of the Imperial Institute of Sciences 
of Lombardy. 

1856. Corresponding member of the Netherlands' Society of Sciences, 

Member of the Imperial Royal Institute, Padua. 

1857. Member of the Institute of Breslau. 

Corresponding Associate of the Institute of Sciences, Venice. 
Member of the Imperial Academy, Breslau. 

1858. Corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 

i860. Foreign Associate of the Academy of Sciences, Pesth. 

Honorary member of the Philosophical Society, Glasgow. 
1861. Honorary member of the Medical Society, Edinburgh. 

1863. Foreign Associate of the Imperial Academy of Medicine, Paris. 

1864. Foreign Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Naples. 



Abbott, Benjamin, 3. 

Abel, F. A., reminiscences by, 30, 


Anderson, Sergeant, 31. 

Apparatus, simplicity of, 127-131. 
Arrow, Sir Frederick, anecdote by, 

Astley's Theatre, adventure at, 20. 
Athenaeum Club, 21, 153. 
Atones, or centres of force? 143. 
Autograph persecution, 86. 


Barlow, Rev. John, 57 ; incident 

at his house, 68. 
Barnard, F., anecdotes by, 81, 84, 

Barnard, Miss Jane, 58. 

Barrett, W. F., reminiscences by, 

72, 138, 142. 
Blacksmith's shop, 40, 79. 
Blaikley's painting, 35. 
Bollaert, William, 19. 
Bores, 44. 
British Association, 40. 


Carpenter, Dr., anecdote by, 107. 
Character of Faraday, 60. 
Charitable gifts, 75. 
"Chemical Manipulation," 52; quo- 
tations from, 126, 127. 

Chemical Society, 59. 
Children and Faraday, .32, 35, 69. 
Churchyard at Oberhofen, 119. 
City Philosophical Society, 11, 17. 
Close, Captain, anecdotes by, 87, 88. 
Colliery explosion at Haswell, 133. 
Committees, 42, 114. 
Continent, visits to the, 12, 38. 
Correspondence, 48. 
Crosse, Mrs. A., visit of, 89. 


Daniell, Professor, 64. 

Davy, Sir Humphry, 7, 8, 16, 17, 

67 ; his safety-lamp, 16. 
De la Rive, A., 76; sketches by, 

139, 146, 170. 
Deacon, Mrs., recollections by, 38. 
Discoveries, value of, 146, 166. 
Domestic affection, 79. 
Dumas, sketches by, 66, 145, 171. 


Education, views on, 97, 1 01- 104. 
Electrical machines, primitive, 3, 1 29. 
Enthusiasm, 62. 
Experiment, love of, 127, 137. 
Explosions, 10. 


Faithfulness, 61. 
Faraday, Michael, his birth, 1 j ap- 
prenticed to a bookseller, 2, 61 ; 



begins to experiment, 3, 4; at- 
tends Tatum's lectures, 3 ; Davy's, 
7 ; becomes journeyman book- 
binder, 8 ; engaged by Davy, 8, 
9 ; his attempts at self-improve- 
ment, 11, 12, 20; travels on the 
Continent, 12 ; gives his first lec- 
ture, 1 7 ; writes his first paper, 1 7 ; 
assists Professor Brande, 19; his 
amusements, 20, 40, 42 ; mar- 
ries, 24; gives courses of lec- 
tures, 26; appointed Fullerian 
Professor, 27; his income, 27, 
75 ; accepts lectureship at Wool- 
wich, 29 ; becomes scientific ad- 
viser to Trinity House, 29; his 
usual day's work, 31 ; his Friday 
evenings, 33; his juvenile lee-, 
tares, 35 ; his Sunday engage- 
ments, 35 ; his Wednesday meet- 
ings* 37 » his visits to the country, 
38 ; his correspondence, 48 ; his 
publications, 52 ; his honours, 
53» *73 > declines presidentship 
of Royal Society, 54 ; refuses and 
accepts pension, 55 ; resigns his 
appointments, 56, 57; his last 
illness, 57 ; his death, 59. 

Faraday's father, 1, 25, 40, 61, 79. 
,, mother, 1, 25. 

Field, Cyrus, 152. 

Firmness with gentleness, 81. 

Force, a Proteus, 147. 

Foucault, visit to, 66. 

Friday evenings at the Royal Insti- 
tution, 26, 33, 150. 

Fuller, John, 27. 

Funeral, 59. 


Gtessbach Falls, 119. 
Government and Science, no. 
Graham, ftrofessor, 59, 132. 
G g ymnotus. 116. 


Hampton Court, house at, 56. 
Helmholz, Professor, quoted, 149. 

Holland, Sir Henry, 46, 55* 
Holmes, F. H., 160, 163. 
Home life, 25, 31, 38, 79. 
Honours, scientific, 53,' 173; views 

on, 109-113. 
Humility, 92. 
Humour, 64. 


Imagination, 62. 
Indignation against wrong, 68. 
Infidelity, accusation of, 117. 
Inner conflicts, 85. 

Jermyn Street, incident at, 126. 
Jones, Dr. H. Bence, quoted, 62 ; 

his "Life and Letters of Faraday," 

4, 14, 94. 

Journals, 14, 119. 
uvenile lectures at Royal Institu- 
tion, 26, 35. 

Kindliness, 69-77, 79, 81. 


Laboratory work, 31, 123. 

Lectures at Royal Institution, 26, 
107, 150. 

Lecturing, views on, 104-108. 

Letters from Faraday to Abbott, B., 
12; Abel, F. A., 30; Airy, Sir 
G. B. (Astronomer Royal), 141 ; 
Andrews, Prof., no; Auckland, 
Lord, 28 ; Barnard, F., 51 ; Bar- 
nard, Miss Sarah, 24; Becker, 
D r -> '37; Coutts, Lady Burdett, 
47> ^3 J Crosse, Mrs. Andrew, 
80 ; Deacon, Mrs., 57 ; Faraday, 
Mrs. (his mother), 13; Faraday, 
Mrs. (bis wife), 24, 25 ; Field, F., 
95; Gladstone, J. H., 140; In- 
ventors, 77; Joule, J. P., 49, 
148 ; Managers of Royal Institu- 
tion, 56 ; Matteucci, 67 ; Moore, 
Miss, 50, 144; Noad, Dr., 73; 



The estimate of M. A. de la Rive is from a letter he 
addressed to Faraday himself : — 

" I am grieved to hear that your brain is weary ; this has 
sometimes happened on former occasions, in consequence 
of your numerous and persevering labours, and you will 
bear in mind that a little rest is necessary to restore you. 
You possess that which best contributes to peace of mind 
and serenity of spirit — a full and perfect faith, a pure and 
tranquil conscience, filling your heart with the glorious 
hopes which the Gospel imparts. You have also the advan- 
tage of having always led a smooth and well-regulated life, 
free from ambition, and therefore exempt from all the 
anxieties and drawbacks which are inseparable from it. 
Honour has sought you in spite of yourself; you have 
kuown, without despising it, how to value it at its true 
worth. You have known how to gain the high esteem, and 
at the same time the affection, of all those acquainted 
with you. 

"Moreover, thanks to the goodness of God, you have 
not suffered any of those family misfortunes which crush 
one's life. You should, therefore, watch the approach of old 
age without fear and without bitterness, having the comfort- 
ing feeling that the wonders which you have been able to 
decipher in the book of nature must contribute to the 
greater reverence and adoration of their Supreme Author. 

" Such, my dear friend, is the impression that your beau- 
tiful life always leaves upon me; and when I compare it 
with our troubled and ill-fulfilled life-course, with all that 
accumulation of drawbacks and griefs by which mine in 
particular has been attended, I put you down as very 



Science a branch of education, 101. 
Sciences linked together, 149. 
Self-respect, 51, 67. 
Sensitiveness, 68, 85. 
Sermons, Faraday's, 36, 37. 
Simple-hearted joyousness, 63, 89. 
Simplicity of character, 82, 90. 
Sirium alias Vestium, 18. 
Social character, 86, 90. 
Society of Arts, 21. 
Spectrum analysis, 47. 
Spiritualists, opinion of, 1 14. 
Submarine cables, 155. 
Swiss tour, 119. 


Table-turning explained, 1 14. 
Tenacity of purpose, 62. 
Thames impure, 131. 
Thomson, Sir William, 137, 155. 
Thunderstorms enjoyed, 62, 87. 
Tomlinson, C, reminiscence by, 108. 
Trinity House, 29, 57, 77, 127, 135, 

Truthfulness, 83, 140. 

Tyndall, Professor, reminiscences 
by> 54, 82, 90; his "Faraday 
as a Discoverer," 53. 





Velocipede riding, 20. 
Visitors, attention to, 32, 45. 
Visits to the sick, 76. 


Walmer, visit to, 38. 
Welsh damsel at waterfall, 71. 
William IV., 55. 
Wiseman, Cardinal, visit o( 92. 
Woolwich Academy, 29, 30, 72. 
Working, method of, 31, 123. 


Young, James, reminiscence by, 

the end. 




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of any utterance in literature so characteristic as the poems of ' 
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Clunes.— THE STORY OF PAULINE: an Autobiography. 
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late Esquire Bedel and Coroner in the University of Oxford. 
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Mr. Cox's Recollections date fi'om the end of last century to quite 
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Dante. — DANTE'S COMEDY, THE HELL. Translated by 
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*' The aim of this translation of Dante may be summed up in one 
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Durer, Albrecht.— HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF AL- 
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Full of bright pictures of French life. The English family, whose 
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. OTHER POEMS. By Sebastian Evans. Fcap. 8vo. cloth. 6s. 

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Fairy Book. — The Best Popular Fairy Stories. Selected and 

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Fletcher. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. 

" Sweet and earnest verses ; especially addressed to girls, by one who 
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utterance to the vague aspirations after a better lifeofpioue endeavour \ 
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Freeman (E. A., Hon. D.C.L.) — historical 

ESSAYS. By Edward Freeman, M.A., Hon. D.C.L., late 
Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. Second Edition. 8vo. 10s. 6d. 

This volume contains twelve Essays selected from the authors contri- 
butions to various Reviews. The principle on which they were 
chosen was that of selecting papers which referred to comparatively 
modern times, or, at least, to the existing states and nations of 
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thrown themselves into something like a continuous series bearing 
on the historical causes of the great events of 1 870 — 7 1 . Notes have 
been added whenever they seemed to be called for; and whenever 
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expression, the author has freely changed, added to, or left out, 
what he originally wrote. To many of the Essays has been added 
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It is needless to say that any product of Mr. Freeman's pen is worthy 
of attentive perusal; and it is believed that the contents of thig 
volume will throw light on several subjects of great historical im- 
portance and the widest interest. The following is a list of the 
subjects:—!. " The Mythical and Romantic Elements in Early 
English History ;" II. " The Continuity of English History;" 
III. ii The Relations between the Crowns of England and Scot- 
land;" IV. "St. Thomas of Canterbury and his Biographers;" 
V. "The Reign of Edward the Third;" VI. " The Holy Roman 
Empire;" VII "The Franks and the Gauls;" VIII. "The 
Early Sieges of Paris ;" IX. " Frederick the First, King of Italy ;" 
X. "The Emperor Frederick the Second;" XL "Charles the 
Bold;" XII "Presidential Government."—" All of them are 
well worth reading, and very agreeable to read. He never touches a 


question without adding to our comprehension of it, without leaving 
the impression of an ample knowledge, a righteous purpose, a clear 
and powerful understanding'' — Saturday Review. 

Garnett. — IDYLLS AND EPIGRAMS. Chiefly from the Greek 
Anthology. By Richard Garnett. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

"A charming little book. For English readers, Mr. Garnett y s 
translations will open a new world of thought" — Westminster 

Geikic— SCENERY OF SCOTLAND, viewed in Connexion 

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Director of the Geological Survey of Scotland. With Illustrations 
and a New Geological Map. Crown 8vo. \os. 6d. 

"Before long, we doubt not, it will be one of the travelling companions 
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probably no one who has so thoroughly mastered the geology of 
Scotland as Mr. Geikie." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

Gladstone.— JUVENTUS MUNDI. The Gods and Men of the 

Heroic Age. By the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. 
Crown 8vo. cloth extra. With Map. 10s. 6d. Second Edition. 

" This new work of Mr. Gladstone deals especially with the historic 
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aid a full account of the Homeric men and the Homeric religion. 
It starts, after the introductory chapter, with a discussion of the 
several races then existing in Hellas, including the influence of the 
Phoenicians and Egyptians. It contains chapters * * On the Olympian 
System, with its several Deities;" " On the Ethics and the Polity of 
the Heroic Age ;" " On the Geography of Homer ;" "On the Cha- 
racters of the Poems; " presenting, in fine, a view of primitive life and 
primitive society as found in the poems of Homer. To this New 
Edition various additions have been made. ' ' To read these brilliant 
details" says the Athenaeum, ii is like standing on the Olympian 
threshold and gazing at the ineffable brightness within. n According 
to the Westminster Review, "it would be difficult to point out 
a book that contains so much fulness of knowledge along with so 
much freshness of perception and clearness of presentation." 


Globe Library. — See end of this Catalogue. 

Golden Treasury of the best Songs and Lyrical 

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Golden Treasury Series. — See end of this Catalogue. 

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things to suit him. To very many, since its publication, has this 
work proved a stimulus to earnest thought and noble action ; and 
thus, to no small extent, it is believed, has it influenced the general 
current of thinking during the last forty years. It is now no 
secret that the authors were Augustus and Julius Charles 
Hare. " They — living as they did in constant and free interchange 
of thought on questions of philosophy and literature and art ; 
delighting^ each of them, in the epigrammatic terseness which is the 
charm of the * Pensies ' of Pascal, and the ' Caracteres ' of La 
Bruyere — agreed to utter themselves in this form, and the book 
appeared, anonymously, in two volumes, in 1827." 

Hamerton. — Works by Philip Gilbert Hamerton :— 

A PAINTER'S CAMP. Second Edition, revised. Extra fcap. 
8vo. 6s. 

Book I. In England; Book II. In Scotland; Book III. In France. 

This is the story of an Artist's encampments and adventures. The 
headings of a few chapters may serve to convey a notion of the 
character of the book : A Walk on the Lancashire Moors ; the 
Author his own Housekeeper and Cook; Tents and Boats for the 


Hamerton — continued. 

Highlands ; The Author encamps on an uninhabited Island ; A 
Lake Voyage ; A Gipsy Journey to Glencoe ; Concerning Moon- 
light and Old Castles ; A little French City ; A Farm in the 
Autunois, &c. &c. *' These pages, written with infinite spirit and 
humour, bring into close rooms, back upon tired heads, the breezy 
airs of Lancashire moors and Highland lochs, with a freshness 
which no recent novelist has succeeded in preserving, " — Noncon- 
formist. " His pages sparkle with many turns of expression, 
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fruit of attentive study and wise reflection on the complicated phe- 
nomena of human life, as well as of unconscious nature" — West- 
minster Review. 

ETCHING AND ETCHERS. A Treatise Critical and Practical. 
With Original Plates by Rembrandt, Callot, Dujardin, 
Paul Potter, &c Royal 8vo. Half morocco. 3U. 6d. 

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gent admirer of the fine arts, whether he is an etcher or not." — 

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'. aesthetic treat which is supplied us by Mr. Hamerton's ably written 

and handsome volume. It is a work of which author, printer, and 
publisher may alike feel proud. It is a work, too, of which none 
but a genuine artist could by possibility have been the author" — 
Saturday Review. 

Hervey. — Works by Rosamond Hervey : — 

THE AARBERGS. Two vols. Crovvn 8vo. cloth. 2U. 

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DUKE ERNEST, a Tragedy ; and other Poems. Fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

"Conceived in pure taste and true historic feeling, and presented with 
much dramatic force. .... Thoroughly original." — British 


- «, 

HigginSOn. — MALBONE: An Oldport Romance. By T. W. 

Higginson. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

This is a story of American life, so told as to be interesting and 
instructive to all English readers. The Daily News says: 
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Home. — BLANCHE LISLE, and other Poems. By Cecil 
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Told in Pictures by L. Frolich, and in Rhymes by Tom Hood. 
Crown 8vo. gilt. 3J. 6d. 

This is a pleasant little tale of wee Bob and his Sister, and their 
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volume is prettily got up, and is sure to be a favourite in the nursery. 1 * 
— Scotsman. ' * Herr Frolich has outdone hwiselfin his pictures 
of this dramatic* chase." — Morning Post. 

English Translation from a Revised Text. With Introduction and 
Notes. By R. C. Jebb, M.A., Fellow and Assistant Tutor of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, and Public Orator of the University. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 6d. 

The first object of this book is to make these lively pictures of old 
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Notes and the critical handling of the text. " — Spectator. ' ' Mr. 
jfeb&s little volume is more easily taken up than laid down." — 


Jest Book. — By Mark Lemon.— See Golden Treasury 

Keary (A.) — Works by Miss A. Keary :— 

JANETS HOME. Cheap Edition. Globe 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

lt Never did a more charming family appear upon the canvas ; and 
most skilfully and felicitously have their characters been portrayed. 
Each individual of the fireside is a finished portrait, distinct and 
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the Miss Austin of her generation." — SUN. 

CLEMENCY FRANKLYN. Globe 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

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Keary (A. and E,) — Works by A. and E. Keary :— 

THE LITTLE WANDERLIN, and other Fairy Tales. i8mo. 
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THE HEROES OF ASGARD. Tales from Scandinavian My- 
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" Told in a light and amusing style, which, in its drollery and 
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Kingsley. — Works by the Rev. Charles Kingsley, M.A., 
Rector of Eversley, and Canon of Chester : — 

Mr. Canon Kingsley* s novels, most will admit, have not only com- 
manded for themselves a foremost place in literature, as artistic 



KingSley (Q.)—-conlinued. 

productions of a high class, but have exercised upon the age an 
incalculable influence in the direction of the highest Christian 
manliness, Mr. Kingsley has done more perhaps than almost any 
other writer of fiction to fashion the generation into whose hands the 
destinies of the world are now being committed. His works will 
therefore be read by all who wish to have their hearts cheered and 
their souls stirred to noble endeavour ; they must be read by all 
who wish to know the influences which moulded the men of this 

"WESTWARD HO!" or, The Voyages and Adventures of 
Sir Amyas Leigh. Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

No other work conveys a more vivid idea of the surging, adventurous, 
nobly inquisitive spirit of tJie generations which immediately fol- 
lowed the Reformation in England. The daring deeds of the 
Elizabethan heroes are told with a freshness, an enthusiasm, and a 
truthfulness that can belong only to one who wishes he had been 
their leader. His descriptions of the luxuriant scenery of the then 
nezu-found Western land are acknowledged to be unmatched. 
Fraser's Magazine calls it "almost the best historical novel of 
the day." 

TWO YEARS AGO. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6j. 

: " Mr. Kingsley has provided us all along with such pleasant diversions 
— such rich and brightly tinted glimpses of natural history, such 
suggestive remarks on mankind, society, and all sorts of topics, 
that amidst the pleasure of the way, the circuit to be made will be by 
most forgotten." — Guardian. 

HYPATIA ; or, New Foes with an Old Face. Fifth Edition. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

The work is from beginning to end a series of fascinating pictures 
of strange phases oj that strange primitive society ; and no finer 
portrait has yet been given of the noble-minded lady who was 
faithful to martyrdom in her attachment to the classical creeds. 
No work affords a clearer notion of the many interesting problems 
which agitated the minds of men in those days, and which, in 
various piloses, are again coming up for discussion at the present 


Kingsley (C.)— continued. 

Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Mr. Kingsley here tells the story of the final conflict of the two 
races, Saxons and Normans, as if he himself had borne apart in it. 
While as a work of fiction " Hereward" cannot fail' to delight all 
readers, no better supplement to the dry history of the time could be 
put into the hands of the young, containing as it does so vivid a 
picture of the social and political life of the period. 

YEAST : A Problem. Fifth Edition, Crown 8vo. $s. 

In this production the author' shows, in an interesting dramatic form, 
the state of fermentation in which the minds of many earnest 
men are with regard to some of the most important religious and 
social problems of the day. 

ALTON LOCKE. New Edition. With a New Preface. Crown 8vo. 

4s. 6d. 

This novel, which shows forth tht evils arising from modern "caste," 
has done much to remove the unnatural barriers which existed 
between the various classes of society, and to establish a sympathy to 
some extent between the higher and lower grades of the social scale. 
Though written with a purpose, it is full of character and interest; 
the author shows, to quote the SPECTATOR, "what it is that con- 
stitutes the true Christian, Godfearing, man-living gentleman." 

numerous Illustrations. Second and Cheaper Edition. Crown 
8vo. 10s. 6d. 

Mr. Kingsley* s dream of forty years was at last fulfilled, when 
he started on a Christmas expedition to the West Indies, for the 
purpose of becoming personally acquainted with the scenes which 
he has so vividly described in " Westward ho !" "In this book 
Mr. Kingsley revels in the gorgeous wealth of West Indian vegeta- 
tion, bringing before us one marvel after another, alternately sating 
and piquing our curiosity. Whether we climb the cliffs with him, 
or peer over into narrow bays which are being hollowed out by the 
trade-surf % or wander through impenetrable forests, where the topi 
of the trees form a green cloud overhead, or gaze down glens which* 

B 2 


Kingsley (C.)— continued. 

are watered by the clearest brooks, running through masses of palm 
and banana and all the rich variety of foliage, we are equally 
delighted and amazed" — AtheNjEUM. 

THE WATER BABIES. A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. New 
Edition, with additional Illustrations by Sir Noel Paton, R.S.A., 
and P. Skelton. Crown 8vo. cloth extra gilt. $s. 

" In fun, in humour, and in innocent imagination, as a child's 
book we do not know its 'equal. 1 '— London Review. "Mr. 
Kingsley must have the credit of revealing to us a new order of life. 
. . . There is in the ' Water Babies ' an abundance of wit, fun, 
good humour, geniality, elan, go." — Times. 

THE HEROES; or, Greek Fairy Tales for my Children. With 
Coloured Illustrations. New Edition. i8mo. 45-. 6d. 

" We da not think these heroic stories have ever been more attrac- 
tively told. . . . There is a deep under-current of religious feeling 
traceable throughout its pages which is sure to influence young 
readers powerfully." — London Review. ' * One of the children's 
books that will surely become a classic" —Nonconformist. 

PHAETHON ; or, Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers. Third 
Edition. Crown 8vo. 2s. 

" The dialogue of * Phaethon' has striking beauties, and its sugges- 
tions may meet halfway many a latent doubt, and, like a light 
breeze, lift from the soul clouds that are gathering heavily, and 
threatening to settle down in misty gloom on the summer of many 
a fair and promising young life." — SPECTATOR. 

POEMS ; including The Saint's Tragedy, Andromeda, Songs, 
Ballads, etc. Complete Collected Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo. 6x. 

Canon Kingsley s poetical works have gained for their author, 
independently of his other works, a high and enduring place 
in literature, and are much sought after. The publishers have 
here collected the whole of them in a moderately'priced and handy 
volume. The Spectator calls "Andromeda" " the finest piece 
of English hexameter verse that has ever been written. It is a 
volume which many readers will be glad to possess." 


Kingsley (H.) — Works by Henry Kingsley :— 

TALES OF OLD TRAVEL. Re-narrated. With Eight full-page 
Illustrations by Huard. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. cloth, 
extra gilt. 5^. 

In this volume Mr. Henry Kingsley re-narrates, at the same time 
preserving much of the quaintness of the original some of the most 
fascinating tales of travel contained in the collections of Hakluyt 
and others. The Contents are: — Marco Polo ; The Shipwreck 
of Pelsart ; The Wonderful Adventures of Andrew Battel ; The 
Wanderings of a Capuchin ; Peter Carder ; The Preservation of 
the " Terra Nova ;" Spitzbergen ; D ) ErmenonvUle *s Acclimatiza- 
tion Adventure; The Old Slave Trade; Miles Philips; The 
Sufferings of Robert Everard ; John Fox ; Alvaro Nunez; The 
Foundation of an Empire. "We know no better book for those 
who want knowledge or seek to refresh it. As for the ' sensational, ' 
most novels are tame compared with these narratives." — Athe- 
naeum. "Exactly the book to interest and to do good to intelligent 
and high-spirited boys." — Literary Churchman. 

THE LOST CHILD. With Eight Illustrations by Frolich. 
Crown 4to. cloth gilt. $s. 6d. 

' This is an interesting story of a little boy, the son of an Australian 
shepherd and his wife, who lost himself in the bush, and who was, 
after much searching, found dead far up a mountain-side. It 
contains many illustrations from the well-known pencil of Frolich, 
"A pathetic story, and told so as to give children an interest in 
Australian ways and scenery."- Globe. " Very charmingly and 
very touchingly told." — Saturday Review. 

Knatchbull-Hugessen. — Works by E. H. Knatchbull- 
Hugessen, M.P. : — 

Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen has won for himself a reputation as an 
inimitable teller cf fairy-tales. " His powers" says the Times, 
" are of a very high order ; light and brilliant narrative flows 
from his pen, and is fed by an invention as graceful as it is inex- 
haustible." " Children reading his stories," the Scotsman says, 
" or hearing them read, will have their minds refreshed and invi- 
gorated as much as their bodies would be by abundance of fresh 
air and exercise. ' ' 


Knatchbull- Hugessen — continued. 

STORIES FOR MY CHILDREN. With Illustrations. , /Third 
Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo. $s. 

lt The stories are charming, and full of life and fun" — Standard. 
" The author has an imagination as fanciful as Grimm himself, 
while some of his stories are superior to anything that Hans Chris- 
tian Andersen has written."— Nonconformist. 

CRACKERS FOR CHRISTMAS. More Stories. With Illustra- 
tions by Jelucoe and Elwes. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. $s. 

"\A fascinating little volume, which will make him friends in every 
household in which there are children." — Daily News. 

MOONSHINE: Fairy Tales. With Illustrations by W. Brunton. 
Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. cloth gilt. $s. 

Here will be found " an Ogre, a Dwarf, a Wizard, quantities of Elves 
and Fairies, and several animals who speak like mortal men and 
women. " There are twelve stories and nine irresistible illustrations. 
" A volume of fairy tales, written not only for ungrown children, 
but for bigger, and if you are nearly worn out, or sick, or sorry, 
you will find it good reading. " — GRAPHIC. ' ' The most charming 
volume of fairy tales which we have ever read. . . . We cannot 
quit this very pleasant book without a word of praise to its illus- 
trator. Mr. Brunton from first to last has done admirably." — 

La Lyre Francaise. — See Golden Treasury Series, j 

Latham.— SERTUM SHAKSPERIANUM, Subnexis aliquot 

aliunde excerptis floribus. Latine reddidit Rev. H. Latham, 
M.A. Extra fcap. 8vo. 5<r. 

Besides versions of Shakespeare, this volume contains, among other 
pieces, Gray's "Elegy," Campbell's " Hohenlindcti," ^blfe's 
"Burial of Sirfohn Moore" and selections from Cowper and 
George Herbert. 


Lemon. With Illustrations by C. Keene. New Edition. Extra 
fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. 


Life and Times of Conrad the Squirrel. A Story 

for Children. By the Author of "Wandering Willie," "Erne's 
Friends," &c. With a Frontispiece by R. Farren. Crown 8vo. 
$s. 6d. 

It is sufficient to commend this story of a Squirrel to the attention of 
readers, that it is by the author of the beautiful stories of "Wan- 
dering Willie" and "Effie's Friends." It is well calculated to 
make children take an intelligent and tender interest in the lower 

Little E Stella, and other Fairy Tales for the Young. Royal 

i6mo. $s. 6d. 

" This is a fine story, and we thank heaven for not being too wise to 
enjoy it" — Daily News. 

Little Lucy's Wonderful Globe.— See Yonge, C. M. 

Lowell. — AMONG MY BOOKS. Six Essays. Dryden— Witch- 
craft — Shakespeare once More — New England Two Centuries Ago 
— Lessing — Rousseau and the Sentimentalists. Crown 8vo. Js. 6d. 

" We may safely say the volume is one of which our chief complaint 
must be that there is not more of it. There are good sense and lively 
feeling forcibly and tersely expressed in every page of his writing." 
— Pall Mall Gazette. 

Lyttelton. — Works by Lord Lyttelton :— 

THE "COMUS" OF MILTON, rendered into Greek Verse. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. 5x. 

Verse. Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 6d. 

" Classical in spirit, full of force, and true to the original" 
— Guardian. 

Macmillan's Magazine. — Published Monthly. Price is. 
Volumes I. to XXV. are now ready. 7.?. 6d. each. 

Macquoid. — PATTY. By Katherine S. Macquoid. Two 
•vols. Crown 8vo. 2U. 


The ATHENiEUM "congratulates Mrs. Macquoid on having made 
a great step since the publication of her last novel" and says 
this "is a graceful and eminently readable story." The Globe 
considers it "well-written, amusing, and interesting, and has the 
merit of being out of the ordinary run of novels." 

Malbone. — See Higginson. 

Marlitt (E.)— THE COUNTESS 'GISELA. Translated from 

the German of E. Marlitt. Crown 8vo. p. 6d. 

**A very beautiful story of German country life" — Literary 

Masson (Professor). — Works by David Masson, M.A., 

Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in the University 
of Edinburgh. (See also Biographical and Philosophical 

x British Poets. 8vo. 12s. 6d. 

" Distinguished by a remarkable power of analysis, a clear state- 
ment of the actual facts on which speculation is based, and an 
appropriate beauty of language. These Essays should be popular 
with serious men." — Athenaeum. 

Sketch of the History of British Prose Fiction. Crown 8vo. *js. 6d. 

" Valuable for its lucid analysis of fundamental principles, its breadth 
of view, and sustained animation of style." — Spectator. " Mr. 
Masson sets before us with a bewitching ease and clearness which 
nothing but a perfect mastery of his subject could have rendered 
possible, a large body of both deep and sound discriminative criticism 

on all the most memorable of our British novelists His 

brilliant and instructive book." — John Bull. 

Merivale.— KEATS' HYPERION, rendered into Latin Verse. 

By C. Merivale, B.D. Second Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo. 
3^. 6d. 

Milner.— THE LILY OF LUMLEY. By Edith Milner. 
Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. 


" The navel is a good one and decidedly worth the reading." — 
Examiner. " A pretty, brightly-written story." — Literary 
Churchman. "A tale possessing the deepest interest" — Court 

Mistral (F.) — MIRELLE, a Pastoral Epic of Provence. Trans- 
lated by H. Crichton. Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

"It would be hard to overpraise the sweetness and pleasing freshness 
of this charming epic." — ATHENiEUM. tl A good translation of 
a poem that deserves to be known by all students of literature and 
friends of old-world simplicity in story ^telling." — Noncon- 

THE HIGHLANDS. Reprinted from the Daily News, with 
Additions. Crown 8vo. $s. 

These papers appeared at intervals in the Daily News during 
the summer of 1871. They narrate in light and jocular style 
the adventures "by flood and field" of Mr. Brown, M.P. and 
his friend in their tour through the West Highlands, and will be 
found well adapted to while aivay a pleasant hour either by the 
winter fireside or during a summer holiday. 

Mrs. Jerningham's Journal. A Poem purporting to be the 

Journal of a newly-married Lady. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 
3-r. 6d. 

" It is nearly a perfect gem. We have had nothing so good for a 
long time, and those who neglect to read it are neglecting one of 
the jewels of contemporary history." — Edinburgh Daily Re- 
view. " One quality in the piece, sufficient of itself to claim a 
moment's attention, is that it is unique — original, indeed, is not too 
strong a word — in the manner of its conception and execution." 
— Pall Mall Gazette. 

Mitford (A. B.)— TALES OF OLD JAPAN. By A. B. 
Mitford, Second Secretary to the British Legation in Japan. 
With Illustrations drawn and cut on Wood by Japanese Artists. 
Two Vols. Crown 8vo. 2ix. 

The old Japanese civilization is fast disappearing, and will, in a 
few years, be completely extinct. It was important, therefore, to 


preserve as far as possible trustworthy records of a state of society 
which, although venerable from its antiquity, has for Europeans 
the charm of novelty ; hence the series of narratives and legends 
translated by Mr. Mitford, and in which the Japanese are very 
judiciously left to tell their own tale. The two volumes comprise 
not only stories and episodes illustrative of Asiatic superstitions, 
but also three sermons. The Preface, Appendices, and Notes explain 
a number of local peculiarities ; the thirty-one woodcuts are the 
genuine work of a native artist, who, unconsciously of course, has 
adopted the process first introduced by the early German masters. 
"They will always be interesting as memorials of a most exceptional 
society ; while, regarded simply as tales, they are sparkling, sensa- 
tional, and dramatic, and the originality of their ideas and tlie 
quaintness of their language give them a most captivating piquancy. 
The illustrations are extremely interesting, and for the curious in 
such matters have a special and particular value. " — Pall Mall 

Morte d* Arthur. — See Globe Library. 

Myers (Ernest). — THE PURITANS. By Ernest Myers. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. cloth. 2s. 6d. 

"It is not too much to call it a really grand poem, stately and dig- 
nified, and showing not only a high poetic mind, but also great 
power over poetic expression" — Literary Churchman. 

Myers (F. W. H.)— POEMS. ByF. W. H. Myers. Con- 

taining "St. Paul," "St John," and others. Extra fcap. 8vo. 

4*?. od. 

ti It is rare to find a writer who combines to such an extent the faculty 
of communicating feelings with the faculty of euphonious expres- 
sion." — Spectator. " ' St. Paul 9 stands without a rival as the 
noblest religious poem which has been written in an age which 
beyond any other has been prolific in this class of poetry. T/ie sub- 
limest conceptions are expressed in language which, for richness, 
taste, and purity, we have never seen excelled" — John Bull. 

Nine Years Old.— By the Author of "St. Olave's," "When I 
was a Little Girl," &c. Illustrated by Frolich. Second Edition. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. cloth gilt. 4s. 6d. 


It is believed that this story ', by the favourably known author of 
u St. Olaz/e's, " will be found both highly interesting and instructive 
to the young. The volume contains eight graphic illustrations by 
Mr. L. Frblich. The Examiner says : " Whether the readers 
are nine years old, or twice, or seven times as old, they must enjoy 
this pretty volume." 

Roden Noel. Fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

"It is impossible to read the poem through without being powerfully 
moved. There are passages in it which for intensity and tender- 
ness, clear and vivid vision, spontaneous and delicate sympathy, 
may be compared with the best tfforts of our best living writers." 
— Spectator. "It is long since we have seen a volume of poems 
which has seemed to us so full of the real stuff of which we are 
made, and uttering so freely the deepest wants of this complicate 
age." — British Quarterly. 

Norton. — Works by the Hon. Mrs. Norton : — 

THE LADY.OFLAGARAYE. With Vignette and Frontispiece. 
New Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. 

" A poem entirely unaffected, perfectly original, so true and yet so 
fanciful, so strong and yet so womanly, with painting so exquisite, 
a pure portraiture of the highest affections and the deeepest sorrows, 
and instilling a lesson true, simple, and sublime." — Dublin 
University Magazine. ' ' Full of thought well expressed, and 
may be classed among her best efforts" — Times. 

OLD SIR DOUGLAS. Cheap Edition. Globe 8vo. 'is. 6d. 
" This varied and lively novel — this clever novel so full of character 
and of fine incidental remark." — Scotsman. " One of the 
* pleasantest and healthiest stories of modern fiction. " — Globe. 

Oliphant. — Works by Mrs. Oliphant : — 

Edition with Illustrations. Royal i6mo. gilt leaves. 4s. 6d. 

* * There are few books of late years more fitted to touch the heart, 
purify the feeling, and quicken and sustain right principles." — 
Nonconformist. "A more gracefully written siory it is impos- 
sible to desire" — Daily News. 


Oliphant — continued. 

A SON OF THE SOIL. New Edition. Globe 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

"It is a very different work from the ordinary run of novels. 
The whole life of a man is portrayed in it, worked out with subtlety 
and insight" — Athenaeum. " With entire freedom from any 
sensational plot, there is enough of incident to give keen interest to 
the narrative, and make us feel as we read it that we have been 
spending a few hours with friends who will make our own lives 
better by their own noble purposes and holy living" — British 
Quarterly Review. 

Our Year. A Child's Book, in Prose and Verse. By the Author 
of "John Halifax, Gentleman." Illustrated by Clarence 
Dobell. Royal i6mo. y. 6d. 

"It is just the book we could wish to see in the hands of every child." 
— English Churchman. 

Olrig Grange. Edited by Hermann Kunst, Philol. Professor.. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 6d. 

This is a poem in six parts, each the utterance of a distinct person. It 
is the story of a young Scotchman of noble aims designed for the 
ministry, but who "rent the Creed trying to fit it on" who goes to 
London to seek fame and fortune in literature, and who returns de- 
feated to his old home in the north to die. The North British 
Daily Mail, in reviewing the work, speaks of it as affording 
" abounding evidence of genial and generative faculty working in self 
decreed modes. A masterly and original poiver of impression, pour- 
ing itself forth in clear, sweet, strong rhythm. . . . Easy to cull, 
remarkable instances of thrilling fervour, of glowing delicacy, of 
scathing and trenchant scorn, to point out the fine and firm discri- 
mination of character which prevails througliout, to dwell upon the 
ethical power and psychological truth which are exhibited, to note the 
skill with which the diverse parts of the poem are set in organic 
relation. . . . It is a fine poem, full of life, of music, and of clear 


Oxford Spectator, the. — Reprinted. Extra fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. 

These papers, after the manner of Addison* s ' ' Spectator, " appeared 
in Oxford from November 1 867 to December 1868, at intervals 


varying from two days to a week. They attempt to sketch several 
features of Oxford life from an undergraduate 's point of 'view », and 
to give modern readings of books which undergraduates study. 
"There is," the Saturday Review says, " all the old fun, the 
old sense of social ease and brightness and freedom, the old medley 
0/ work and indolence, of jest and earnest, that made Oxford life 
so picturesque." 

Palgrave. — Works by Francis Turner Palgrave, M.A., late 
Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford : — 

ESSAYS ON ART. Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

Mulready — Dyce — Holman Hunt — Herbert — Poetry? Prose, and Sen- 
sationalism in Art — Sculpture in England — The Albert Cross, &c. 
Most of these Essays have appeared in the Saturday Review 
and elsewhere : but they have been minutely revised, and in some 
cases almost re-written, with the aim mainly of excluding matters of 
temporary interest, and softening down all asperities of censure. 
The main object of the book is, by examples taken chiefly from the 
works of contemporaries, to illustrate the truths, that art has fixed 
principles, of which any one may attain the knowledge who is not 
wanting in natural taste. Art, like poetry, is addressed to the 
world at large, not to a special jury of professional masters. " In 
many respects the truest critic we have." — Literary Churchman. 

GRANGE. A Book for Children. With Illustrations by Arthur 
Hughes and Engraved Title-page by Jeens. Small 4to. cloth 
extra. 6s. 

" If you want a really good book for both sexes and all ages, buy 
this, as handsome a volume of tales as you'll find in all the 
market. " — A THENiEU M. ' ''Exquisite both inform and substance. " 
— Guardian. 

LYRICAL POEMS. Extra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

"A volume of pure quiet verse, sparkling with tender melodies, and 
alive with thoughts of genuine poetry. . . . Turn where we will 
throughout the volume, we find traces of beauty, tenderness, and 
truth ; true poets work, touched and refined by the master-hand of 
a real artist, who shows his genius even in trifles?'' — Standard. 


PalgTave— continued, 

ORIGINAL HYMNS. Third Edition, enlarged, i8mo. is. 6d. 

" So choice, so perfect, and so refined, so tender in feeling, and so 
scholarly in expression, t/iat we look with special interest to every- 
thing that he gives us." — Literary Churchman. 

Edited by F. T. Palgrave. See Golden Treasury Series. 

Palgrave. Gem Edition. With Vignette Title by Jeens. y.6d. 

"For minute elegance no volume could possibly excel the * Gem 
Edition.* "—Scotsman. 

Palmer's Book of Praise. — See Golden Treasury 

trated in Colours from Sketches taken in the East by McEniry, 
with Frontispiece from a Picture by John Jellicoe, and Illumi- 
nated Texts and Borders. Royal 4to. in Ornamental Binding. i6j. 

The Scotsman calls this "one of the most superb books of the 
> season. " The richly and tastefully illuminated borders are from 

the Brevario Grimani, in St. Mark's Library, Venice. The 
TIMES calls it "one of the most beautiful of modern pictorial 
works;" while the Graphic says "nothing in this style, so good, 
has ever before been published." 

Patmore.— THE ANGEL IN THE HOUSE. By Coventry 

Book I. The Betrothal ; Book II. The Espousals ; Book III. 
Faithful for Ever. The Victories of Love. Tamerton Church 
Tower. Two Vols. Fcap. 8vo. \2S. 

" A style combining much of the homeliness of Crabbe, with sweeter 
music and a far higher range of thought. " — Times. * * Its merit 
is more than sufficient to account for its success. . • . In its manly 
and healthy cheer, the * Angel in the House* is an effectual protest 
against the morbid poetry of the age."'— Edinburgh Review. 

» * 



" We think his 'Angel in the House ' would be a good wedding~gift 
to a bridegroom from his friends; though, whenever it is read with 
a right view of its aim, we believe it will be found itself more or 
less, of an angel in the house" — Fraser's Magazine. • 

A New and Cheap Edition in One Vol, iSmo., beautifully 
printed on toned paper, price 2s. 6d. 

Pember. — THE TRAGEDY OF LESBOS. A Dramatic Poem. 
By E. H Pember. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. 

Founded upon the story of Sappho, ' l He tells his story with dramatic 
force, and in language that often rises almost to grandeur." — 


OF ENGLAND. By Margaret E. Poole. New and Cheaper 
Edition. With Frontispiece by R. Farren. Crown 8vo. $s. 6d. 

" Charming stories of peasant life, written in something of George 

Eliot 1 s style, . . . Her stories could not be other than they are, as 

literal as truth, as romantic as fiction, full of pathetic touches 

and strokes of genuine humour. . . . All the stories are studies 

of actual life, executed with no mean art." — Times. 


Pope's Poetical Works. — See Globe Library. 


Population of an Old Pear Tree. From the French 

of E. Van Bruyssel. Edited by the Author of " The Heir of 
Redclyffe." With Illustrations by Becker. Second Edition. 
Crown 8vo. gilt edges. 6s. 

*' This is not a regular book of natural history, but a description of 
all the living creatures that came and went in a summer's day 
beneath an old pear tree, observed by eyes that had for the nonce 
become microscopic, recorded by a pen that finds dramas in every- 
thing, and illustrated by a dainty pencil. . . . We can hardly 
fancy anyone with a moderate turn for the curiosities of insect 
life, or for delicate French esprit, not being taken by these clever 
sketches. " — Guardian. "A whimsical and charming little book. " 
— Athenaeum. 


Portfolio of Cabinet Pictures. — oblong folio, price 42s. 

This is a handsome portfolio containing faithfully executed and 
beautifully coloured reproductions of five well-known pictures : — 
" Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" and " The Fighting Temeraire," 
by J. M. W. Turner; " Crossing the Bridge," by Sir W. A. 
Callcott ; " The Cornfield" by fohn Constable ; and "A Land- 
9 scape" by Birket Foster. The Daily News says of them, 
" They are very beautifully executed, and might be framed and 
hung up on the wall, as creditable substitutes for the originals." 

Raphael of Urbino and his Father Giovanni 

SANTI.— By J. D. Passavant, formerly Director of the 
Museum at Frankfort. Illustrated. Royal 8vo. cloth gilt, gilt 
edges. 3 1 j. 6d. 

To the enlarged French edition of Herr Passavant* s Life of Raphael, 
that painter's admirers have turned whettever they have sought for 
information ; and it will doubtless remain for many years the best 
book of reference on all questions pertaining to the great painter. 
The present work consists of a translation of those parts of Passa- 
vant s volumes which are most likely to interest the general reader. 
Besides a complete life of Raphael it contains the valuable descrip- 
tions of all his knonon paintings, and the Chronological Index, 
which is of so much service to amateurs who wish to study the pro- 
gressive character of his works. The illustrations, twenty in 
number, by Woodbury* *s new permanent process of photography, 
are from the finest engravings that could be procured, and have been 
chosen with the intention of giving examples of Raphael's various 
styles of painting, " There will be found in the volume almost all 
that the ordinary student or critic would require to learn." -~ Art 
Journal. "// is most beautifully and profusely illustrated." — 
Saturday Review. 

Realmah. — By the Author of " Friends in Council." Crown 8vo. 

Rhoades. — POEMS. By James Rhoades. Fcap. Svo. 4s. 6a\ 

Contents \—Ode to Harmony ; To the Spirit of Unrest; Ode to 

Winter; The Tunnel; To the Spirit of Beauty; Song of a Leaf; 


By the Rather; An Old Orchard ; Love and Rest ; The Mowers 
Surprised; On the Death of Artemus Ward; The Two Paths ; 
The Ballad of Little Maisie ; Sonnets. 

Richardson.— THE ILIAD OF THE EAST. A Selection of 

Legends drawn from Valmiki's Sanskrit Poem, "The Ramayana." 
By Frederika Richardson. Crown 8vo. js. 6d. 

" It is impossible to read it without recognizing the value and interest 
of the Eastern epic. It is as fascinating as a fairy tale, this 
romantic poem of India. " — Globe. * * A charming volume which 
at once enmeshes the reader in its snares." — Athenaeum. 

Robinson Crusoe. — See Globe Library and Golden 

Treasury Series. 

By Mary K. Roby. Fcap. 8vo. $s. 

Rogers. — Works by J. E. Rogers :— 

RIDICULA REDIVIVA. Old Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated in 
Colours, with Ornamental Cover. Crown 4to. 6s. 

*' The most splendid, and at the same time the most really meritorious 
of the books specially intended for children, that ive have seen. " — 
Spectator. " These large bright pictures will attract children to 
really good and honest artistic work, and that ought not to be an 
indifferent consideration with parents who propose to educate their 
children" — Pall Mall Gazette. 

MORES RIDICULI. Old Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated in Colours, 
with Ornamental Cover. Crown 4to. 6s. 

u These world-old rhymes have never had and need never wish for 
a better pictorial setting than Mr. Rogers has given them." — 
Times. "Nothing could be quainter or more absurdly comical 
than most of the pictures, which are all carefully executed and 
beautifully coloured." — Globe. 

Rossetti. — Works by Christina Rossetti : — 

by D. G. Rossetti. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5*. 

• C 


RoSSetti — continued. 

"She handles her little marvel with that rare poetic discrimination 
which neither exhausts it of its simple wonders by pushing sym- 
bolism too far, nor keeps those wonders in the merely fabulous and 
capricious stage. In fact, she has produced a true children's poem, 
which is far more delightful to the mature than to children^ though 
it would be delightful to all. 19 — SPECTATOR. 

two Designs by D. G. Rossetti. Fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

" Miss Rossetti' s poems are of the kind 7vhich recalls Shelley f s defini- 
tion of Poetry as the record of tJie best and happiest moments of the 
best and happiest minds. . . . They are like the piping of a bird 
on the spray in the sunshine, or the quaint singing with which a 
child amuses itself when it forgets thai anybody is listening" — 
Saturday Review. 

Rossetti (W. M.)— DANTE'S HELL. See "Dante." 

Ruth and her Friends. A Story for Girls. With a Frontis- 
piece. Fourth Edition. Royal i6mo. 3s. 6d. 

" We wish all the school girls and home-taught girls in the land had. 
the opportunity of reading it." — NONCONFORMIST* 

Scott's Poetical Works.— See Globe Library. 
Scouring of the White Horse; or, the Long 

by Doyle. Imp. i6mo. Cheaper Issue. 3s. 6d. 
" A glorious tale of summer joy. "—Freeman. " There is a genial 
hearty life about the book."—JoHK Bull. " The execution is 
excellent. . . . Like ' Tom Brown's School Days, 9 the ' White 
Horse' gives the reader a feeling of gratitude and personal esteem 
towards the author:'- Saturday Review. 

Seeley (Professor). — LECTURES AND ESSAYS. By 
J. R. Seeley, M.A. Professor of Modern History in the 
University of Cambridge. 8vo. 10s. 6d. 


Contents: — Roman Imperialism: 1. The Great Roman Revolu- 
tion; 2. The Proximate Cause of the Fall of the Roman Empire ; 
3. The Later Empire. — Milton's Political Opinions — Milton's 
\ Poetry — Elementary Principles in Art — Liberal Education in 

Universities— English in Schools — The Church as a Teacher of 
Morality — The Teaching of Politics: an Inaugural Lecture de- 
) " livered at Cambridge. " He is the master of a clear and pleasant 
, . style y great facility of expression , and a considerable range ofillus- 

., tration. . . . The criticism is always acute, the description always 

w graphic and continuous, and the matter of each essay is carefully 

arranged with a view to unity of effect." — Spectator. "His 
book will be full of interest to all thoughtful readers." — Pall 
Mall Gazette. 

Shairp (Principal).— KILMAHOE, a Highland Pastoral, with 

other Poems. By John Campbell Shairp, Principal of the 

United College, St. Andrews. Fcap. 8vo. 5-r. 

" Kilmahoe is a Highland Pastoral, redolent of the warm soft air 

of the zoestern locks and moors, sketched out with remarkable 

grace and picturesqueness" — Saturday Review. 

Shakespeare. — The Works of William Shakespeare. Cam- 
bridge Edition. Edited by W. George Clark, M.A. and W. 
Aldis Wright, M.A. Nine vols. 8vo. Cloth. 4/. 14J. 6d. 

This, now acknowledged to be the standard edition of Shakespeare, is 
the result of many years' study and research on the part of the 
accomplished Editors, assisted by the suggestions and contributions 
ef Shakespearian students in all parts of the country. The following 
are the distinctive characteristics of this edition: — 1. The text h 
based on a thorough collation of the four Folios, and of all the 
Quarto editions of the separate plays, and of subsequent editions and 
commentaries. 2. All the results of this collation are given in note; 
at the foot of the page, together with the conjectural emendations 
collected and suggested by the Editors, or furnished by their cor- 
respondents, so as to give the reader a complete view of the existing 
materials out of which the text has been constructed, or may be 
'■- amended. 3. Where a quarto edition differs materially from tin 
received text, the text of the quarto is printed literatim in a smaller 
type after tlie received text. 4. The lines in each scene are num- 
bered separately, so as to facilitate reference. 5. At the end of each 

C 2 


play a few notes, crittcal, explanatory ; and illustrative, are added. 
6. The Poems, edited on a similar plan, are printed at the end 
of the Dramatic Works. The Preface contains some notes on 
Shakespearian Grammar, Spelling, Metre, and Punctuation, and 
a history of all the chief editions from the Poet's time to the present. 
The Guardian calls it an "excellent, and, to the student, almost 
indispensable edition ;" and the Examiner calls it " an unrivalled 
edition. " 

Shakespeare, Globe. — See Globe Library. 

Shakespeare's Tempest. Edited with Glossarial and Ex- 
planatory Notes, by the Rev. J. M. Jephson. Second Edition. 
iSmo. I j*. 

This is an edition for use in schools. The introduction treats briefly 
of the value of language, the fable of the play and other points. 
The notes are intended to teach the student to analyse every obscure 
sentence and trace out the logical sequence of the poet's thoughts ; 
to point out the rules of Shakespeare 's versification ; to explain 
obsolete words and meanings ; and to guide the students taste by 
directing his attention to such passages as seem especially worthy 
of note for their poetical beauty or truth to nature. The text is in 
the main founded upon that of the first collected edition of Shake- 
speare's plays. 

Smith. — POEMS. By Catherine Barnard Smith. Fcap. 
8vo. 5j. 

" Wealthy in feeling, meaning, finish, and grace; not without passion, 
which is suppressed, but the keener for that. 11 — Athenaeum. 

Smith (Rev. Walter).— HYMNS OF CHRIST AND THE 
CHRISTIAN LIFE. By the Rev. Walter C. Smith, M.A. 
Fcap. 8vo. 6s. , 

" These are among the nveetest sacred poems we have read for a long 
time. With no profuse imagery, expressing a range of feeling 
and expression by no means uncommon, they are true and elevated, 
and their pathos is profound and simple. 1 ' — NONCONFORMIST. 

Song Book, the. — See Golden Treasury Series. 


Spenser's Works. — See Globe Library. 

Spring Songs. By a. West Highlander. With a Vignette 
Illustration by Gourlay Steele. Fcap. 8vo. is. 6d. 

" Without a trace of affectation or sentimentalism, these utterances 
are perfectly simple and natural, profoundly human and pro- 
foundly true." — Daily News. 

Stephen (C. E.)— THE SERVICE OF THE POOR ; being 
an Inquiry into the Reasons for and against the Establishment ot 
Religious Sisterhoods for Charitable Purposes. By Caroline 
Emilia Stephen. Crown 8vo. 6s. 6d. 

Miss Stephen defines religious Sisterhoods as " associations, the organi- 
zation of which is based upon the assumption that works of charity 
are either acts of worship in themselves, or means to an end, 
that end being the spiritual welfare of the objects or the performers 
of those works." Arguing from that point of view, she devotes the 
first part of her volume to a brief history of religious associations, 
taking as specimens — I. The Deaconesses of the Primitive Church ; 
II. the BJguines ; III. the Third Order of S. Francis ; IV. the 
Sisters of Charity of S. Vincent de Paul ; V. the Deaconesses of 
Modern Germany. In the second part, Miss Stephen attempts to 
shozv what are the real wants met by Sisterhoods, to what extent the 
same wants may be effectually met by the organization of corre- 
sponding institutions on a secular basis, and what are the reasons 
for endeavouring to do so. * '// touches incidentally and with much 
wisdom and tenderness on so many of the relations of women, par- 
ticularly of single women, with society, that it may be read with 
advantage by many who have never thought of entering a Sister- 
hood. "— Spectator. 

Stephens (J. B.)— CONVICT ONCE. A Poem. By J. Brun- 
ton Stephens. Extra fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. 

A tale of sin and sorrow, purporting to be the confession of Mag- 
dalen Power, a convict first, and then a teacher in one of the Aus- 
tralian Settlements ; the narrative is supposed to be written by 
Hyacinth, a pupil of Magdalen Power, and the victim of her 
• jealousy. The metre of the poem is the same as that of Long- 
fellow's "Evangeline." "It is as far more interesting than 


ninety-nine novels out of a hundred, as it is superior to them in 
power, worth, and beauty. We should most strongly advise every- 
body to read • Convict Once' " — Westminster Review. 

Storehouse of Stories. — See Yonge, c. m. 

Streets and Lanes of a City : Being the Reminiscences 
of Amy Dutton. With a Preface by the Bishop of Salis- 
bury. Second and Cheaper Edition. Globe 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

This little volume records, to use the words of the Bishop of Salts- 
bury, " a portion of the experience, selected out of overflowing 
materials, of two ladies, during several years of devoted work as 
district parochial visitors in a large population in the north of 
England." Every incident narrated is absolutely true, and only 
the names of the persons introduced have been (necessarily) changed. 
The " Reminiscences of Amy Dutton " serve to illustrate the line 
of argument adopted by Miss Stephen in her work on "the Service 
of the Poor," because they show that as in one aspect the lady visitor 
may be said to be a link between rich and poor, in another she helps 
to blend the "religious" life with the "secular," and in both does 
service of extreme value to the Church and Nation, "One of the 
most really striking books that has ever come before us. " — LITERARY 

Sunday Book of Poetry. — See Golden Treasury 

Symonds (J. A., M.D.)— MISCELLANIES. By John 
Addington Symonds, M.D. Selected and Edited, with an 
Introductory Memoir, by his Son. 8vo. Js. 6d. 

The late Dr, Symonds, of Bristol, was a man of singularly versatile 
and elegant as well as powerful and scientific intellect. In order 
to make this selection from his many works generally interesting, the 
editor has confined himself to works of pure literature, and to such 
scientific studies as had a general philosophical or social interest. 
Among the general subjects are articles on the Principles of Beauty, 
on Knoivlcdge, and a Life of Dr. Pritchard ; among the Scientific 
Studies are papers on Sleep and Dreams, Apparitions, the Relations 
between Mind and Muscle, Habit, etc. ; there are several papers on 


the Social and Political Aspects of Medicine * and afeiv Poems and 
Tran stations, selected from a great number of equal merit, have been 
inserted at the end, as specimens of the lighter literary recreations 
which occupied the intervals of leisure in a long and laborious life. 
"Mr. Symonds has certainly done right in gathering together what 
his father left behind him." — Saturday Review. 

Theophrastus, Characters of. — SeejEBB. 

Thring.—- SCHOOL SONGS. A Collection of Songs for Schools. 

With the Music arranged for four Voices. Edited by the Rev. E. 
Thring and H. Riccius. Folio. 7f. 6d. 

There is a tendency in schools to stereotype the forms of life. Any 
genial solvent is valuable. Games do much ; but games do not 
penetrate to domestic life, and are much limited by age. Music 
supplies the want. The collection includes the "Agnus Dei," 
Tennyson 7 s "Light Brigade," Macau/ay's "fvry," etc. among other 

Tom Brown's School Days. — By An Old Boy. 

Golden Treasury Edition, 4*. 6d. People's Edition, 2s. 

With Sixty Illustrations, by A. Hughes and Sydney Hall, 

Square, cloth extra, gilt edges, iqs. 6d. 
With Seven Illustrations by the same Artists, Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" We have read and re-read this book with unmingled pleasure. . . . 
IVe have carefully guarded ourselves against any tampering with 
our critical sagacity, and yet have been compelled again and again 
to exclaim, Bene I Optimel" — London Quarterly Review. 
" An exact picture of the bright side of a Rugby boy's experience, 
told with a life, a spirit, and a fond minuteness of detail and recol- 
lection which is infinitely honourable to the author." — Edinburgh 
Review. " The most famous boy's book in the language." — 
Daily News. 

Tom Brown at Oxford. — New Edition. With Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 


In no other work that we can call to mind are the finer qualities op 
the English gentleman more happily portrayed"— Daily News. 
"A book of great power and truth ."—Nation al Review. 


Trench. — Works by R. Chenevix Trench, D.D., Archbishop 

of Dublin. (For other Works by this Author, see Theological, 
Historical, and Philosophical Catalogues.) 

POEMS. Collected and arranged anew. Fcap. 8vo. Js. 6d. 

ELEGIAC POEMS. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. zs. 6d. 

CALDERON'S LIFE'S A DREAM : The Great Theatre of the 
World. With an Essay on his Life and Genius. Fcap. 8vo. 
as. 6d. 

arranged, with Notes, by Archbishop Trench. Second Edition. 
Extra fcap. 8vo. $s. 6d. 

Tliis volume is called a " Household Book" by this name implying 
that it is a book for all — that there is nothing in it to prevent it 
from being confidently placed in the hands of every member of the 
household. Specimens of all classes of poetry are given, including 
selections from living authors. The editor has aimed to produce 
a book "which the emigrant, finding room for litfile not absolutely 
necessary, might yet find room for in his trunk, and the traveller 
in his knapsack, and that on some narrow shelves where there are 
few books this might be one.' 1 " The Archbishop has conferred in 
this delightful volume an important gift on the whole English- 
speaking population of the world. " — Pall Mall Gazette. 

SACRED LATIN POETRY, Chiefly LyricaL Selected and 
arranged for Use. By Archbishop Trench. Second Edition, 
Corrected and Improved. Fcap. 8vo. Js. 

*' The aim of the present volume is to offer to members of our English 
Church a collection of the best sacred Latin poetry, such as they 
shall be able entirely and heartily to accept ami approve — a collection r 
that is, in which they shall not be evermore liable to be offended, and 
to have the current of their sympathies checked, by coming upon that 
which, however beautiful as poetry, out of higher respects tfiey must 
reject and condemn — in which, too, they shall not fear that snares 
are being laid for them, to entangle them unawares in admiration 
for aught which is inconsistent with their faith and fealty to their 
own spiritual mother." — Preface. 

Fcap. 8vo. 6s. 


Trollope (Anthony). — sir harry hotspur of 

HUMBLETHWAITE. By Anthony Trollope, Author of 
"Framley Parsonage," etc. Cheap Edition. Globe 8vo. 2s.6d, 

The Times says : "In this novel we are glad to recognize a return 
to what tue must call Mr. Trollope 1 s old form. The characters 
are drawn with vigour and boldness, and the book may do good 
to many readers of both sexes." The ATHENAEUM remarks : " A'o 
reader who begins to read this book is likely to lay it down until 
the last page is turned. This brilliant novel appears to us decidedly 
more successful than any other of Mr. Trollope 3 s shorter stories. '* 

Turner. — Works by the Rev. Charles Tennyson Turner : — 

SONNETS. Dedicated to his Brother, the Poet Laureate. Fcap. 
8vo. 4J. 6d. 

" The Sonnets are dedicated to Mr. Tennyson by his brother, and have, 
independently of their merits, an interest of association. They both 
love to write in simple expressive Saxon ; both love to touch their 
imagery in epithets rather than in formal similes ; both have a 
delicate perception of rhythmical movement, and thus Mr. Turner 
has occasional lines which, for phrase and music, might be ascribed 
to his brother. . . He knows the haunts of the wild rose, the shady 
nooks where light quivers through the leaves, the ruralities, in shorty 
of the land of imagination." — ATHENAEUM. 

SMALL TABLEAUX. Fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. 

" These brief poems have not only a peculiar kind of interest for 
the student of English poetry, but are intrinsically delightful, ana 
will reward a careful and frequent perusal. Full of naivete, piety, 
love, and knowledge of natural objects, and each expressing a single 
and generally a simple subject by means of minute and original 
pictorial touches, these Sonnets have a place of their own." — Pall 
Mall Gazette. 

Virgil's Works. — See Globe Library. 

Vittoria Colonna.— LIFE AND POEMS. By Mrs. IUnry 
Roscoe. Crown 8vo. 9*. 

The life of Vittoria Colonna, the celebrated Marchesa di Tescara, 
has received but cursory notice from any English writer, though 


in every history of Italy her name is mentioned with great honour 
among the poets of the sixteenth century, " In three hundred and 
fifty years" says her biographer ; Visconti, "there has been no other 
Italian lady who can be compared to her." " It is written with 
good taste, with quick and intelligent sympathy, occasionally with 
a real freshness and charm of style? — Pall Mall Gazette. 

Volunteer's Scrap Book. By the Author of "The Cam- 
bridge Scrap Book." Crown 4to. is. 6d. 

"A genial a fid clever caricaturist in whom we may often perceive 
through small details that he has as proper a sense of the graceful 
as of the ludicrous. The author might be and probably is a 
Volunteer himself so kindly is the mirth he makes of all the inci- 
dents and phrases of the drill-ground." — EXAMINER. 

Wandering Willie. By the Author of " Erne's Friends," and 
"John Hatherton." Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

1 ' This is an idyll of rare truth and beauty. . . . The story is simple 
and touching, the style of extraordinary delicacy, precision, and 
picturesqueness. . . . A charming gift-book for young ladies not 
yet promoted to novels, and will amply repay those of their elders 
who may give an hour to its perusal. 11 — Daily News. 

Webster. — Works by Augusta Webster : — 

" If Mrs. Webster only remains true to herself, she will assuredly 
. take a higher rank as a poet than any woman has yet done." — 
Westminster Review. 

DRAMATIC ST Q DIES. Extra fcap. 8vo. $s. 

"A volume as stro?igly marked by perfect taste as by poetic power."— 

A WOMAN SOLD, AND OTHER POEMS. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

"Mrs. Webster has shown us that she is able to draw admirably 
from the life; that she can observe with subtlety, and render her 
observations with delicacy ; that she can impersonate complex con- 
ceptions and venture into which few living writers can follow her* 1 


Webster — continued* 

PORTRAITS. Second Edition. Extra fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. 

"Mrs. Webster's poems exhibit simplicity and tenderness . . . her 
taste is perfect . . . This simplicity is combined with a subtlety of 
thought y feeling, and observation which demand that attention which 
only real lovers of poetry are apt to bestow." — Westminster 

into English Verse. Extra fcap. 8vo. 3-r. 6d. 

" Closeness and simplicity combined with literary skill." — Athe- 
NjEUM. "Mrs. Webster's 'Dramatic Studies' and * Translation 
of Prometheus ' have won for her an honourable place among our 
female poets. She writes with remarkable vigour and dramatic 
realization , and bids fair to be the most successful claimant of Mrs. 
Brownings mantle" — British Quarterly Review. 

MEDEA OF EURIPIDES. Literally translated into English 
Verse. Extra fcap. 8vo. $s. 6d, 

lt Mrs. Webster* s translation surpasses our utmost expectations. It is 
a photograph of the original \without any of that harshness which 
so often accompanies a photograph." — Westminster Review. 

THE AUSPICIOUS DAY. A Dramatic Poem. Extra fcap. 
8vo. 5 J * 

Westminster Plays. Lusus Alteri Westmonasterienses, Sive 
Prologi et Epilogi ad Fabulas in S tl Petri Collegio : actas qui Ex- 
stabant collect! et justa quoad licuit annorum serie ordinati, quibus 
accedit Declamationum quae vocantur et Epigrammatum Delectus. 
Curantibus J. Mure, A.M., H. Bull, A.M., C. B. Scott, B.D. 
8vo. I2J. 6d. 
Idem. — Pars Secunda, 1820 — 1864. Quibus accedit Epigrammatum 
Delectus. 8vo. 1 5*. 

When I was a Little Girl, stories for children. 

By the Author of "St. Olave's." Third Edition. Extra fcap. 
8vo. 4f. 6d. With Eight Illustrations by L. Frolich. 

* ' At the head y and a long way ahead y of all books for girls, we 


place ' When I was a Little Girl.' "—Times. "// is one of the 
choicest morsels of child-biography which we have met with." — 

Wollaston.— LYRA DEVONIENSIS. ByT. V. Wollaston, 

M.A. Fcap. 8vo. 3^. &/. 

"// is the work of a man of refined taste, of deep religious sentiment, 
a true artist, and a good Christian." — CHTJRCH Times. 

Woolner.—MY BEAUTIFUL LADY. By Thomas Woolner. 

With a Vignette by Arthur Hughes. Third Edition. Fcap. 
8vo. $s. 

H It is clearly the product of no idle hour, but a highly-conceived and 
faithfully-executed task, self-imposed, and prompted by that itnvard 
yearning to utter great thoughts, and a wealth of passionate feeling, 
which is poetic genius. No man can read this poem without being 
struck by the fitness and finish of the workmanship, so to speak, as 
well as by the chastened and unpretending loftiness of thought 
which pervades the whole." — GLOBE. 

Words from the Poets. Selected by the Editor of " Rays 
of Sunlight." With a Vignette and Frontispiece. i8mo. limp., is. 
" The selection aims at popularity, and deserves it." — Guardian. 

Wyatt (Sir M. Digby).— FINE ART : a Sketch of its 
History, Theory, Practice, and application to Industry. A Course 
of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge. By 
Sir M. Digby Wyatt, M.A. Slade Professor of Fine Art. 
8vo. 1 or. 6d. 

" An excellent handbook for the student of art." — GRAPHIC " The 
book abounds in valuable matter, and will therefore be read with 
pleasure and profit by lorws of art." — DAILY News. 

Yonge (C. M.) — Works by Charlotte M. Yonge. (See also 
Catalogue of Works in History, and Educational 

THE HETR OF REr.CLYI FF. Eighteenth Edition. With Illus- 
tration:". Crow.i Sv.>. 6.r. 


Yonge (C. M.) — continued. 

HEARTSEASE. Eleventh Edition. With Illustrations. Crown 
8vov 6s t 

THE DAISY ^HAIN. Tenth Edition. With Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Fifth Edition. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

DYNEVOR TERRACE. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

HOPES AND FEARS. Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

THE YOUNG STEPMOTHER. Third Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 

Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" We think the authoress of ' The Heir of Redely ffe ' has surpassed 
her previous efforts in this illuminated chronicle of the olden time." 
— British Quarterly. 

THE CAGED LION. Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 6.7. 

" Prettily and tenderly written, and will with young people especially 
be a great favourite." — Daily News. " Everybody should read 
this."" — Literary Churchman. 

BLACK RIBAUMONT. Crown Svo. 6s. . 

" Miss Yonge has brought a lofty aim as well as high art to the con- 
struction of a story which may claim a place among the best efforts 
in historical romance. 1 * — Morning Post. " The plot, in truth, 
f is of the very first order of merit" — Spectator. " We have 

L seldom read a more charming story." — Guardian. 

THE PRINCE AND THE PAGE. A Tale of the Last Crusade. 
Illustrated. i8mo. 3*. 6d. 


Yonge (C. M.)— continued. 

" A tale which, we are sure, will give pleasure to many others besides 
the young people for whom it is specially intended. . , . This 
extremely prettily-told story does not require the guarantee afforded 
by the name of the author of ' The Heir of Redclyfje* on the title- 
page to ensure its becoming a universal favourite." — Dublin 
Evening Mail. 

THE LANCES OF LYNWOOD. New Edition, with Coloured 
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" The illustrations are very spirited and rich in colour, and the 
story can hardly fail to charm the youth ful reader :" — MANCHESTER 

Edition. Illustrated. i8mo. 3s. 6d. 

A STOREHOUSE OF STORIES. First and Second Series. 
Globe 8vo. 3J. 6d, each. 

Contents of First Series : — History of Philip Quarll — 
Goody Twoshoes — The Governess — Jemima Placid — The Perambu- 
lations of a Mouse — The Village School — The Little Queen — 
History of Little Jack. 

" Miss Yonge has done great service to the infantry of this generation 
by putting these eleven stories of sage simplicity within their reach" 
— British Quarterly Review. 

Contents of Second Series : — Family Stories — Elements of 
Morality — A Puzzle for a Curious Girl — Blossoms of Morality. 

COUNTRIES. Gathered and Narrated Anew. New Edition, 
with Twenty Illustrations by Frolich. Crown 8vo. cloth gilt. 6s. 
(See also Golden Treasury Series). Cheap Edition, is. 

* l We have seen no prettier gift-book for a long time, and none which, 
both for its cheapness and the spirit in which it has been compiled ^ 
is more deserving of praise" — Athenaeum. 

A BOOK OF WORTHIES.— See Golden Treasu-ry Series. 


Yonge (CM.) — continued. 

Frolich, and narrated by Charlotte M. Yonge. Second 
Edition. Crown 4*0. cloth gilt. 6s. 

Miss Yonge' s wonderful " knack " of instructive story-telling to 
children is well known. In this volume, in a manner which 
cannot but prove interesting to all boys and girls, she manages 
to convey a wonderful amount of information concerning most of 
the countries of the world ; in this she is considerably aided by the 
twenty-four telling pictures of Mr. Frolich. " * Lucy's Wonderful 
Globe ' is capital \ and will give its youthful readers more idea of 
foreign countries and customs than any number of books of geography 
or travel" — Graphic. 

Edward II. Extra fcap. 8vo. $s. Second Edition, enlarged. 

A Second Series. THE WARS IN FRANCE. Extra fcap. 
8vo. $s. 

The endeavour has not been to chronicle facts, but to put together a 
series of pictures of persons and events, so as to arrest the attention, 
and give some individuality and distinctness to the recollection, by 
gathering together details at the most memorable moments. The 
" Cameos" are intended as a book for young people just beyond the 
elementary histories of England, and able to enter in some degree 
into the real spirit of events, and to be struck with characters and 
scenes presented in some relief " Instead of dry details," says the 
Nonconformist, "we have living pictures, faithfod, vivid, and 

Tragedian. With Extracts from his Son's Journal. By Julian- 
Charles Young, M. A., Rector of Ilmington. New and Cheaper 
Edition. Crown 8vo. Js. 6d. With Portraits and Sketches. 

" There is hardly a page of it which was not worth printing. There 
is hardly a line which has not some kind of interest attaching 


to it." — Guardian. "In this budget of anecdotes, fables, and 
gossipy old and new, relative to Scott, Moore, Chalmers, Coleridge, 
Wordsworth, Croker, Mathews, the Third and Fourth Georges, 
Bowles, Beckford, Lockhart, Wellington, Peel, Louis Napoleon, 
jyOrsay, Dickens, Thackeray, Louis Blanc, Gibson, Constable, 
and Stanfeld (the list might be much extended), the reader must be 
hard indeed to please who cannot find entertainment." — Paix 
Mall Gazette. 



Uniformly printed in i8mo., with Vignette Titles by Sir 
Noel Paton, T. Woolner, W. Holman Hunt, J. E. 
Millais, Arthur Hughes, &c. Engraved on Steel by 
Jeens. Bound in extra cloth, 4*. 6d. each volume. Also 
kept in morocco and calf bindings. 

" Messrs, Macmillan have, in their Golden Treasury Series , especially 
provided editions of standard works , volumes 0/ selected poetry, and 
original compositions, which entitle this series to be called classical. 
Nothing can be better than the literary execution, nothing more 
elegant than the material workmanship." — British Quarterly, 

The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and 

Selected and arranged, with Notes, by Francis Turner 

" This delightful little volume, the Golden Treasury •, which contains 
many of the best original lyrical pieces and songs in our language, 
grouped with care and skill, so as to illustrate each other like the 
pictures in a well-arranged gallery." — Quarterly Review. 

The Children's Garland from the best Poets. 

Selected and arranged by Coventry Patmore. 

" // includes specimens of all the great masters in the art of poetry, 
selected with the matured judgment of a man concentrated on 
obtaining insight into the feelings and tastes of childhood, and 


desirous to awaken its finest impulses, to cultivate its keenest sensi- 
bilities." — Moaning Post. 

The Book Of Praise. From the Best English Hymn Writers. 
Selected and arranged by Sir Roundell Palmer. A New and 
Enlarged Edition. 

" All previous compilations of this kind must undeniably for the 
present give place to the Book of Praise* . . . The selection has 
becfi made throughout with sound judgment and critical taste. The 
pains involved in this compilation must have been immense, em- 
bracing, as it does, every writer of note in this special province of 
English literature, and ranging over the most widely divergent 
tracks of religious thought." — Saturday Review. 

The Fairy Book ; the Best Popular Fairy Stories. Selected and 
rendered anew by the Author of "John Halifax, Gentleman." 

" A delightful selection, in a delightful external form ; full of the 
physical splendour and vast opulence of proper fairy tales." — 

The Ballad Book. A Selection of the Choicest British Ballads. 

Edited by William Allingham. 

" His taste as a judge of old poetry will be found, by all acquainted with 
the various readings of old English ballads, true enough to justify 
his undertaking so critical a task." — Saturday Review. 

The Jest Book. The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings. Selected 
and arranged by Mark Lemon. 

" The fullest and best jest book that has yet appeared" — SATURDAY 

Bacon's Essays and Colours of Good and Evil. 

With Notes and Glossarial Index. By W. ALDIS Wright, M.A. 

The beautiful little edition of Bacon's Essays, nozu before us, does 
credit to the taste and scholarship of Air. Aldis Wright. . . . It 
puts the reader in possession of all the essential literary facts and 
chrofiology necessary for reading the Essays in connection with 
Bacoris life and times. " — S pectator. ' ' By far the most complete 
as well as the most elegant edition we possess" — Westminster 



The Pilgrim' 8 Progress fr° m this World to that which is to 

come. By John Bunyan. 

"A beautiful and scholarly reprint" — Spectator. 

The Sunday Book of Poetry for the Young. 

Selected and arranged by C. F. Alexander. 

" A well-selected volume 0/ Sacred Poetry" — Spectator. 

A Book Of Golden Deeds of All Times and All Countries. 

Gathered and narrated anew. By the Author of " The Heir of 

"... To the youngy for whom it is especially intended, as a most 
interesting collection of thrilling tales well told ; and to their elders, 
as a useful handbook of reference, and a pleasant one to take up 
when their wish is to while away a weary half hour. We have 
seen no prettier gift-book for a long time." — ATHENiEUM. 

The Poetical Works of Robert Burns. Edited, with 

Biographical Memoir, Notes, and Glossary, by Alexander 
Smith. Two Vols. 

"Beyond all question this is the most beautiful edition of Burns 
yet *«/."— Edinburgh Daily Review. 

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Edited from 

the Original Edition by J. W. Clark, M.A., Fellow of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. 

" Mutilated and modified editions of this English classic are so much 
the rule, that a cheap and pretty copy of it, rigidly exact to the 
original^ will be a prize to many book-buyers." — Examiner. 

The Republic of Plato. Translated into English, with 
Notes by J. LI. Davies, M.A. and D. J. Vaughan, M.A. 
"A dainty and cheap little edition" — Examiner. 

The Song Book. Words and Tunes from the best Poets and 

Musicians. Selected and arranged by John Hullah, Professor 
of Vocal Music in King's College, London. 

D 2 



A choice collection of the sterling songs of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland^ with the music of each prefixed to the words. How much 
true wholesome pleasure such a book can diffuse, and will diffuse, 
we trust, through many thousand families." — Examiner. 

La Lyre Francais©* Selected and arranged, with Notes, by 
Gustave Masson, French Master in Harrow School. 

A selection of the Best French songs and lyrical pieces. 

Tom Brown's School Days. By An Old Boy. 

" A perfect gem of a book. The best and most healthy book about 
boys for boys that ever was written. " — ILLUSTRATED TIMES. 

A Book of Worthies, Gathered from the Old Histories and 
written anew by the Author of "The Heir of Redclyffe." 

With Vignette. 

" An admirable addition to an admirable series" — Westminster 

A. Book of Golden Thoughts. By Henry Attwell, 

Knight of the Order of the Oak Crown. 

" Mr. Attwell has produced a book of rare value .... Happily it 
is small enough to be carried about in the pocket, and of such a com- 
panion it would be difficult to weary. " — Pall Mall Gazette. 

Guesses at Truth. By Two Brothers. New Edition. 



Beautifully printed on toned paper and bound in cloth extra, gilt 
edges, price 4-r. 6d, each ; in cloth plain, $s. 6d. Also kept in a 
variety of calf and morocco bindings at moderate prices. 

Books, Wordsworth says, are 

"the spirit breathed 
By dead men to their kind ; " 

arid the aim of the publishers of the Globe Library has 
been to make it possible for the universal kin of English- 
speaking men to hold communion with the loftiest " spirits 
of the mighty dead ; *' to put within the reach of all classes 
complete and accurate editions, carefully and clearly printed 
upon the best paper, in a convenient form, at a moderate 
price, of the works of the master-minds of English 
Literature, and occasionally of foreign literature in an 
attractive English dress. 

The Editors, by their scholarship and special study of 
their authors, are competent to afford every assistance to 
readers of all kinds : this assistance is rendered by original 
biographies, glossaries of unusual or obsolete words, and 
critical and explanatory notes. 


The publishers hope, therefore, that these Globe Editions 
may prove worthy of acceptance by all classes wherever the 
English Language is spoken, and by their universal circula- 
tion justify their distinctive epithet ; while at the same time 
they spread and nourish a common sympathy with nature's 
most "finely touched" spirits, and thus help a little to 
"make the whole world kin." 

The Saturday Review says : " The Globe Editions are admirable 
for their scholarly editing, their typographical excellence, their com- 
pendious form, and their cheapness" The British Quarterly 
Review says: "In compendiousness, elegance, and scholarliness, 
the Globe Editions of Messrs. Macmillan surpass any popular series 
of our classics hit/ierto given to the public. As near an approach 
to miniature perfection as has ever been made." 

Shakespeare's Complete Works/' Edited by w. g. 

Clark, M. A., and W. Aldis Wright, M. A., of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, Editors of the "Cambridge Shakespeare. With 
Glossary, pp. 1,075. Price 3*. 6V. 

This edition aims at presenting a perfectly reliable text of the complete 
works of " the foremost man in all literature." The text is essen- 
tially the same as that of the " Cambridge Shakespeare." Appended 
is a Glossary containing the meaning of every word in the text which 
is either obsolete cr is used in an antiquated or unusual sense. 
This, combined with the method used to indicate corrupted readings, 
serves to a great extent the purpose of notes. The Athenaeum says 
this edition is "a marvel of beauty, cheapness, and compactness. 
. . . For the busy man, above all for the ivorking student, this is 
the best of all existing Shakespeares." And the Pall Mall 
Gazette observes: "To have produced the complete works oj 
the world's greatest poet in such a form, and at a price within the 
reach of every one, is of itself almost sufficient to give the publishers 
a claim to be considered public benefactors." 

Spenser's Qomplete 'Works. Edited from the Original 
Editions and Manuscripts, by R. Morris, with a Memoir by J. 
W. Hales, M.A. With Glossary, pp. lv., 736. Price 3^. 6d. 


The text of the poems has been reprinted from the earliest known 
editions, carefully collated with subsequent ones, most of which were 
published in the poet's lifetime. Spenser's only prose work, his 
sagacious and interesting ** View of the State of Ireland," has been 
re-edited from three manuscripts belonging to the British Museum. 
A complete Glossary and a list of all the most important various 
readings serve to a large extent the purpose of notes explanatory 
and critical. An exhaustive general Index and a useful " Index 
of first lines 11 precede the poems ; and in an Appendix are given 
Spenser *s Letters to Gabriel Harvey. ' * Worthy — and higher praise 
it needs not — of the beautiful ' Globe Series? The work is edited 
with all the care so noble a poet deserves." — Daily News. 

Sir 'Walter Scott's Poetical Works. Edited with a 

Biographical and Critical Memoir by Francis Turner Palgrave, 
and copious Notes, pp. xliii., 559. Price 3s. 6d. 

" Scott," says Heine, " in his every book, gladdens, tranquillizes, and 
strengthens my heart" This edition contains the whole of Scotf s 
poetical works, with the exception of one or two short poems. While 
most of Scott's own notes have been retained, others have been added 
explaining many historical and topographical allusions ; and ori- 
ginal ^introductions from the pen of a gentleman familiar with 
Scotch literature and scenery, containing much interesting infor- 
mation, antiquarian, historical, and biographical, are prefixed to 
the principal poems. " We can almost sympathise with a middle- 
aged grumbler, who, after reading Mr. Palgrave 's memoir and in- 
troduction, should exclaim — ' Why was there not such an edition of 
Scott when I was a schoolboy ? ' " — Guardian. 

Complete Works of Robert Burns. — the poems, 

SONGS, AND LETTERS, edited from the best Printed and 
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Biographical Memoir by Alexander Smith, pp. lxii., 636. 
Price 3X. 6d. 

Burns } s poems and songs need not circulate exclusively among Scotch- 
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capacity of appreciating the exquisite expression of all kinds of 
human feeling — rich pawky humour, keen wit, withering satire, 


genuine pathos, pure passionate love. The exhaustive glossarial 
index and the copious notes will make all the purely Scotch poems 
intelligible even to an Englishman. Burns' s letters must be read 
by all who desire fully to appreciate tJ^e poet's character, to see it 
on all its many sides. Explanatory notes are prefixed to most 
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and Highland Tours, are appended. Following the prefixed 
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and Works. " Admirable in all respects." — Spectator. "The 
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Robinson Crusoe. Edited after the Original Editions, with a 
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Of this matchless truth-like story, it is scarcely possible to find an 
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the li Globe," the Universal edition of Defoe's fascinating narrative. 
"A most excellent and in every way desirable edition." — Court 
Circular. " Macmillan s ' Globe' Robinson Crusoe is a book to 
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Goldsmith's Miscellaneous Works. Edited, with 

Biographical Introduction, by Professor Masson. pp. lx., 695. 

Globe 8vo. 3-r. 6d. 

This volume comprehends the whole of the prose and poetical works 
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character, and many graphic pictures of the literary life of London 
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delineation of the mixed traits of his peculiar character as to be 
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Pope's Poetical Works. Edited, with Notes and Intro- 
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of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and Professor of History in 
Owens College, Manchester, pp. lii., 508. Globe 8vo. 3*. 6d. 
This edition contains all Pope's poems, translations, and adaptations, 
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The text, carefully revised, is taken from the best editions ; Pope's 
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Dry den's Poetical Works. Edited, with a Memoir, 

Revised Text, and Notes, by W. D. Christie, M.A., of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, pp. lxxxvii., 662. Globe 8vo. y, 6d. 
A study of Dryden's works is absolutely necessary to anyone who 
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which comprises several specimens of his vigorous prose, the text has 
been thoroughly corrected and purified from many misprints and 
small changes often materially affecting the sense, which had been 
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retained where it is not altogether strange or repulsive. Besides an 
exhaustive Glossary, there are copious Notes, critical, historical, bio- 
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research and of a careful revision of the text. The memoir prefixed 
contains, within less than ninety pages, as much sound criticism 
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Cowper's Poetical Works. Edited, with Notes and 
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London, pp. lxxiii. , 536. Globe 8vo. 3*. 6d. 

This volume contains, arranged under seven heads, the whole of 
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at the foot of the page, while many explanatory notes by the editor 
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will be found that much new light has been thrown on some of 
t/ie most difficult passages of Cowper's spiritually chequered life. 
"Mr. Benham 1 s edition of Cowper is one of permanent value. 
The biographical introduction is excellent, full of information, 
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matter. Altogether the book is a very excellent one." — Saturday 


THE ROUND TABLE. The original Edition of Caxton, 
revised for Modern Use. With an Introduction by Sir Edward 
Strachey, Bart. pp. xxxvii., 509. Globe 8vo. y. 6d. 

This volume contains the crea?n of the legends of chivalry which 
have gathered round the shadowy King Arthur and his Knights 
of the Round Table. Tennyson has drawn largely on them in his 
cycle of Arthurian Idylls. The language is simple and quaint as 
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which the book is made up, are fascinating as those of the "Arabian 
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leave the evil." There was a want of an edition of the work at a 
moderate price, suitable for ordinary readers, and especially for 
boys : such an edition the present professes to be. The Introduction 
contains an account of the Origin and Matter of the book, the Text 
and its several Editions, and an Essay on Chivalry, tracing its 
history fro?Ji its origin to its decay. Notes are appended, and a 


Glossary of such words as require explanation. ii It is with perfect 
confidence that we recommend this edition of the old romance to every 
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The^JWorks Of Virgil. Rendered into English Prose, with 
Introductions, Notes, Running Analysis, and an Index. By James 
Lonsdale, M.A., late Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College, 
Oxford, and Classical Professor in King's College, London ; and 
Samuel Lee, M.A., Latin Lecturer at University College, 
London, pp. 288. Price $s. 6d. 

The publishers believe that an accurate and readable translation of all 
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pleasing in its effect ; " and the Educational Times, that it 
* ' may be readily recommended as a model for young students for 
rendering the poet into English" The General Introduction will 
be found full of interesting information as to the life of Virgil, the 
history of opinion concerning his writings, the notions entertained 
of him during the Middle Ages, editions of his works, his influence 
on modern poets and on education. To each of his works is prefixed 
a critical and explanatory introduction, and important aid is 
afforded to the thorough comprehension of each production by the 
running Analysis. Appended is an Index of all the proper names 
and the most % important subjects occurring throughout the poems 
and introductions. "A more complete edition of Virgil in English 
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— Globe.